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Physicians welcome additional govt funding for codeine upscheduling

31 October, 2017

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) welcomes the Federal Government's commitment of an additional $1 million to support the move to making codeine medicines prescription-only from 1 February 2018.

The Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, announced the additional funding on 27 October 2017.

"This funding will promote an informed understanding among pharmacists, doctors and their patients on why these changes are being made for codeine-containing medicines and safer over-the-counter alternatives," said RACP President, Dr Catherine Yelland.

Associate Professor Adrian Reynolds, President of the Chapter for Addiction Medicine within the RACP said the funding was an opportunity for further collaboration between the medical and pharmacy sectors.

"The scheduling change will be an adjustment for patients, pharmacists and doctors but it's a decision that is ultimately going to save lives and improve health outcomes," said Associate Professor Adrian Reynolds.

"The clinical landscape for opioid therapy is evolving dramatically; scientific evidence is expanding and our health professional practice must evolve with it. The doctors and pharmacists I have talked with want nothing less.

"Doctors and pharmacists, and the groups who represent them, will work together to ensure these changes are implemented by February 2018 and ensure that treatment optimisation and patient safety are the priority."

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