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Board restricts sale of medicines with codeine to fight drug abuse

The Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB) has stopped the sale of medicines that contain codeine in an effort to minimise the risk of overuse and addiction.

PPB Registrar Fred Siyoi said yesterday medicines with codeine will no longer be sold in pharmacies or chemists without valid prescription from registered medical practitioners. He also said that all market authorisation holders have six months to change packages of medicines that contain codeine to include clear and prominently positioned warnings on the label.

The packages should also bear summary product characteristics (SmPC) and patient information leaflet (PIL) about the risk of addiction and importance of not taking these medicines longer than three days.

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