A Comparative Exploration of Community Pharmacists’ Views on the Nature and Management of Over-the-Counter (OTC) and Prescription Codeine Misuse in Three Regulatory Regimes: Ireland, South Africa and the United Kingdom

Tara Carney, John Wells, Michael Bergin, Siphokazi Dada, Michelle Foley, Padraig McGuiness, Anna Rapca, Eileen Rich, Marie Claire Van Hout

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Misuse of codeine containing preparations is a public health concern given the potential for associated harms and dependence. This study explores the perspectives of community pharmacists in three regulatory regimes on issues of customer misuse of over-the-counter (OTC) and prescribed codeine. A qualitative design comprising six focus groups (n = 45) was conducted in Ireland, United Kingdom, South Africa. Transcripts were analysed using the constant comparative method of content analysis. Pharmacists described popular codeine-containing products and the need for improved medicine information and warning labels. Issues around legitimate availability of codeine and regulatory status; presence of therapeutic need; difficulties in customer–pharmacist communication; business environments and retail focus were raised. Participants also discussed how they identified customers potentially misusing codeine and difficulties in relationships between pharmacists and prescribers. A number of recommendations were put forward as ways to manage the issues. The study highlights the difficulties encountered by community pharmacists operating under various regulatory regimes when supplying codeine containing preparations in negotiating patient awareness and compliance and potential ways to deal with misuse and dependence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-369
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
Volume14
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Aug 2016

Keywords

  • Codeine containing preparations
  • Community pharmacy
  • Misuse
  • Pharmacists
  • Regulation

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