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Changes to patient access for medicines containing codeine

In December 2016, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) announced the final decision that over the counter medicines containing low-dose codeine will become prescription only products from 1 February 2018. The current range of over the counter medicines containing codeine will continue to be available without prescription in pharmacies until 31 January 2018.

These changes are occurring because there is evidence of increasing public harm associated with the use of over-the-counter codeine containing medicines, in addition to research suggesting low-dose codeine provides little therapeutic benefit. The decision to reschedule codeine was made via a lengthy and robust process over a two year period.

For more information on codeine and the TGA’s decision regarding medicines which contain it, visit their codeine information hub.

Queensland Codeine Rescheduling Implementation Group

Queensland Health has formed a working group to coordinate the implementation of codeine rescheduling in Queensland. The Queensland Codeine Rescheduling Implementation group (QCRIG) will guide communication efforts that will raise awareness of the changes among health professionals, and provide information and support to consumers.

The first meeting of the working group was held on Thursday, 4th May 2017 and will occur monthly until implementation. Meeting outcomes and communiques will be published here when available.

Last updated: 26 July 2019