The Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand (the Guild) was delighted to note the recent decision by the Medicine’s Classification Committee (MCC) not to re-classify paracetamol and ibuprofen liquids from a pharmacy-only medicine to a general sales product.
The decision supports the Guild’s strong belief that granting general access to these medicines without the supervision of a trained member of pharmacy staff would present a serious risk to the public.
“The decision recognises how vital pharmacists and pharmacy staff are as medicine experts in the community,” said the Guild’s Chief Executive, Lee Hohaia.
“Moving these medicines to general sales would have meant the loss of that key advice and support to patients in their time of need.”
The Guild carried out a survey to canvas the views of its members on the most recent MCC agenda and received an overwhelming response. Many of the individual pharmacists’ comments were included in the Guild’s submission to the committee to emphasise the important interventions pharmacists make on a daily basis when supplying these medicines to their patients.
Indeed, the MCC acknowledged in particular the “significant number of comments from the medical and pharmaceutical communities” opposing the reclassification of ibuprofen, paracetamol and oxymetazoline in its meeting minutes.
The Guild also supported the proposal to reclassify the shingles vaccine to a prescription medicine “except…when administered by a registered pharmacist who has successfully completed a vaccinator training course…”, which the MCC accepted.
Media contact: Lee Hohaia – 021 220 8587