Avant position paper calls for monitoring drugs of dependence

Avant released a position paper on prescribing drugs of dependence in October, advocating on behalf of their members, to implement reforms and improve the ways drugs of dependence are being prescribed, monitored and regulated. The position paper was written by Dr Walid Jammal (GP and Avant Senior Medical Advisor – Advocacy) in collaboration with the Avant Advocacy team. The paper highlights that there are numerous issues associated the prescription of drugs of dependence such as inconsistent regulations, inadequate IT systems and lack of knowledge amongst medical practitioners. The paper states, “Avant is concerned at the emerging evidence of a corresponding increase in opioid related harm, including hospitalisations and deaths where they were a contributing factor.” Prior to 2001, heroin was responsible for more than two-thirds of opioid-related hospitalisations. From 2005-2006 however, when other opioids, including morphine, oxycodone and codeine became twice as likely as heroin to be reported as a principal diagnosis. Avant continues to call for further education and guidelines for doctors on their regulatory obligations pertaining to drugs of dependence. The paper outlines that between 2009 and 2014, Avant assisted members with more than 230 claims that relate to drugs of dependence. The data provided shows that these claims were associated with alleged inappropriate prescription of drugs of dependence alleged prescribing without the correct authority refusals or cessation of prescribing requests for information from bodies such as coroners. More importantly Avant has called for the implementation of a national real time prescription monitoring system, to support doctors at the point of prescribing. The paper states, “Avant believes that a national real-time prescription monitoring system will enable practitioners...

Analysis of the proposed codeine up scheduling: Part III

In Parts I & II of these posts we looked at the proposed codeine up scheduling that the Therapeutic Goods Administration is currently reviewing. We examined the independent review commissioned by the Pharmacy Guild and produced by Cadence Economics. Now for some final words on this discussion. Final decision on the proposed codeine up scheduling delayed On Thursday, 19 November 2015 the Therapeutic Goods Administration announced it would defer a final decision on the proposed codeine up scheduling due to the huge number of responses received. The possibility that Schedule 2 and Schedule 3 codeine containing cold and flu and analgesic medicines could be up scheduled to Schedule 4 drew wide opposition. 127 submissions have been received in response to the TGA’s proposed codeine up scheduling. 113 of these are opposed to the proposal. In order for the TGA to fully consider all of the submissions they recently announced that a final decision will not be made until at least June 2016 and would not take effect until 2017. As discussed in the previous MediSecure articles on this matter, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia engaged Cadence Economics to do an economic analysis of the proposal. The report highlighted that the proposed codeine up scheduling could cost $316 million a year. The report, in line with the Guild’s response, recommends the federal government should carefully consider the net costs of the proposed codeine up scheduling, particularly when other lower cost alternatives exist. Proposed alternatives to re-scheduling codeine containing medicines The Pharmacy Guild, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and the Australian Self Medication Industry have already made it clear that they...

Analysis of the proposed rescheduling OTC codeine: Part II

PART II  In Part I of this series we looked at the TGA’s proposed rescheduling OTC codeine containing medicine and learned of the economic analysis by Cadence Economics, commissioned by the Pharmacy Guild. Now we will examine the report.   The independent analysis The Cadence Economics report was developed for the Pharmacy Guild of Australia to highlight the substantial costs of rescheduling OTC codeine based medicines. Currently OTC medicines are Schedule 2 and Schedule 3, but the proposed changes would make them available by prescription only. The Cadence report states, “The availability of low-does codeine as Schedule 3 or Schedule 2 medicines benefits large numbers of Australians and saves taxpayers in terms of avoided subsidised GP visits.” Assumptions used The analysis was based on figures from 2014, approximately 16.4 million units/ packets of codeine-containing analgesics were dispensed and 5.2 million units of cold and flu medicine. The analysis also used data from a survey conducted by the Macquarie Centre for the Health Economy in 2014. In this survey 63 per cent of respondents said that they would see a GP to obtain a prescription for a codeine-containing medicine if they could not get it by simply visiting the pharmacy. Although this percentage is assumed to be on the upper side, these are useful numbers for understanding how consumers might respond to rescheduling OTC codeine and can no longer obtain their low dose cold and flu or analgesic medicines OTC. Key figures from the report The Cadence Economics research and forecasting delivered the following figures for the rescheduling OTC codeine containing medicine: 53 per cent of patients would visit their GP...

The proposed rescheduling of OTC codeine: Part I

In this series of posts we will look at the recent proposed changes to the scheduling of codeine containing medicine. In part II we will examine the independent research commissioned by the Guild that highlights the costs of the proposed rescheduling. In the third and final part of this series we will look at industry reactions and plausible alternatives. PART I: TGA proposed changes to OTC codeine medicines In October the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling announced it was conducting a review into the current scheduling of low-dose codeine based medicine with the view of stopping OTC codeine sales. This would mean that many common cold and flu medicines as well as low dose codeine analgesics would no longer be available without a prescription. The proposed changes drew a huge number of submissions from industry stakeholders, with the vast majority against the proposals. Since then the TGA has announced that any final decision on the matter would be referred to an expert advisory committee. This delay will allow time for the submissions and other information to be reviewed comprehensively. No ruling will be made before 23 June 2016 and hence any changes would not become effective until 2017. (ref) While the delay means that there will be no changes in the near future to the way we access OTC codeine containing medicines, it is helpful to understand the background on this matter as well as some of the industry responses. Current scheduling of OTC codeine medicines Currently common lower dose codeine containing medicines, such as cold & flu treatment and analgesics are: – Up to 10mg of anhydrous codeine...

Pin It on Pinterest

Optimization WordPress Plugins & Solutions by W3 EDGE