Painaustralia welcomed the opportunity to provide input to the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s (TGA) consultation regarding changes to slow release paracetamol.
The proposed amendments come following concerns in the UK about drug interactions and accidental overdose given the slow releasing nature of the medication.
We supported proposed changes to upschedule from a Pharmacy Only (Schedule 2) medication to a Pharmacist Only (Schedule 3) classification, and the correction of terminology from slow release to modified release (MR) to accurately reflect the formulation of these products.
In implementing these changes, Painaustralia also recommended further education and awareness around paracetamol products to ensure that consumers are vigilant to the risks posed by these medications.
We also highlighted the need to review and monitor the impact upscheduling has on the cost of MR paracetamol, as well as any additional barriers consumers face in accessing appropriate pain management.
Clearly, there is a need to ensure that millions of consumers with painful conditions like osteoarthritis have access to timely and appropriate pain management. While we consider regulatory changes to improve the regulation and use of medications such as MR paracetamol and opioids, we must also consider the need for alternative pain management strategies for consumers.