As some of you may be aware I work for a pharmacy chain. As part of my job I cover the Pharmacy Counter. As of the 1st of August new regulations came in on the supply of products containing Codeine. This has created some confusion which is not helped by pharmacists!
I have noticed from talking to friends, customers and pharmacists that each pharmacy and even sometimes branches within them, are adopting slightly different policies on the sale of codeine products.
An example of this is when my mother went to one pharmacy and was told she could not be sold a product and was not referred to the pharmacist as the regulations set out.
This makes it quite confusing for patients. It also makes it harder for those of us on the counter to help patients as if they can’t get what they want in our pharmacy they say they will go to another one.
The Draft Guidance on the Codeine Products is available on the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland’s website (PDF) but that does not set out a uniform policy.
Codeine products need to be strongly regulated and from my experience of this regulation I think they would be better off putting those products on prescription, it will be the only way that it will be regulated considering the abuse and misuse associated with these products and their addictive nature.
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