Double standard in codeine plans
I CAN’T help feeling there is a fair bit of hypocrisy involved in the crackdown on availability of codeine-based painkillers.
From next February, you’ll only be able to buy products such as Nurofen Plus, Panadeine and Codral if you have a prescription from your doctor. Which, in itself, is fine. Despite being commonly used to beat pain, codeine is addictive – exactly the reason the Federal Government is citing for the crackdown.
And there’s the rub. Smoking is also addictive. So why are crackdowns on the supply of cigarettes nowhere near as harsh?
Sure, they keep telling people smoking will kill them; put shocking pictures on the packets; restrict their visual prominence in outlets and tax them out of the stratosphere but anyone of legal age can still buy them if they choose.
So why the different set of rules for codeine products, especially when chemists already have a tried-and-true method in place to keep track of exactly who’s buying them.
You don’t see tobacconists entering the names of their customers into a national database as chemists already do for the sale of codeine-based drugs.
And there’s another little glitch in the plan – doctors writing out prescriptions for codeine products won’t be required to do any such thing, so it will be possible for people to go from one doctor to the next in search of the drug.
Of course, chemists could always maintain their current database and ... whoops, I think we just went in a full circle.