Identification needed for medicine with codeine

2013-10-07 12:10

South Africans will need to produce identification when buying medication containing codeine, Clicks has said.

“As of January 2 2014, patients will be required to supply key personal details including identity numbers, when they purchase a range of popular over-the-counter medications....” the retailer said in a statement.

Codeine, an active ingredient found in a range of flu and pain medication, was proven a successful ingredient but addictive when not used properly.

Nicola Brink of the Self-Medication Manufacturers Association of SA (Smasa) said it was difficult to regulate the dispensing of codeine.

“We also want to protect patients from misuse and abuse of codeine-containing substances.”

Brink was aware the initiative could be met with resistance.

“The only alternative is to move all medicine containing codeine to a higher schedule which would require a doctor’s prescription...[which] would place a further burden on [the] healthcare system,” she said.

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