AFT Pharmaceuticals (NZX; AFT, ASX; AFP) today welcomes Medsafe’s decision to classify all medicines containing codeine
as prescription medicines.
AFT Pharmaceutical’s Managing Director Dr Hartley Atkinson said the New Zealand medicine regulator’s decision was a good
result not only for AFT, but also for the country. It would increase demand for AFT’s patented pain relief medicine
Maxigesic® and it would also reduce codeine overdoses and poisonings.
Dr Atkinson said: “Maxigesic was developed as a better alternative for pain relief than other combination painkiller
products, particularly those containing codeine.
“In the 12 months after Australia rescheduled codeine containing medicines in 2018, sales of Maxigesic tablets increased
by more than 50%. Meanwhile, the decision saw a large and significant drop in codeine poisoning calls and this drop
began following the announcement and prior to legislative change .
“While Medsafe still has to set the timeframe and programme for the implementation of the new restrictions, it is clear
that the harm that comes from access without a prescription to the medicine would now start to ease.”
Dr Atkinson said although AFT expected the decision to drive an increase in Maxigesic sales, it was too early to make
precise predictions on the extent of the uplift although some impact on Maxigesic sales in New Zealand would be expected
during the FY21 financial year.