New Zealand Reclassifies All Codeine-Containing Medicines as Prescription Medicines

Medsafe will gazette this change on 5 November 2020. On this date, codeine, and codeine-containing
combination products will only be able to be supplied in accordance with a prescription.

Regulations (5) and 15(4) of the Medicines Regulations 1984 allow some transition time for the relabeling of stock. At the wholesale level, the Regulations allow for three months from the date of notification of a classification change for stock to be relabeled, and for stock, at the retail level, the Regulations allow for 6 months for relabeling. However, from 5 November, regardless of how a stock is labeled and regardless of the labeling transition period, stock will only be able to be supplied on a prescription.

This gives affected sponsors of products and healthcare professionals until 5 May 2021 to transition to fully compliant prescription labeled codeine-containing products.

Products on pharmacy shelves will have to be removed from self-selection or pharmacist
recommendation on or before 5 November 2020.

Affected pharmaceutical companies should submit a Changed Medicine Notification for changes to labeling to include the prescription classification statement, and a revised datasheet as soon as possible.

New labeling should be available at wholesale level by 5 February 2021.

More information could be accessed through this link:-

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