BUYERS of over-the-counter medicines that include codeine, an addictive painkiller, will need to present their identity documents to purchase it at pharmacies next year.
This is an initiative led by the South African Pharmacy Association and the community pharmacy sector to identify people abusing the drug.
SA Pharmacist Association consultant David Bayever said pharmacists had acted to monitor the use of the drug as they were concerned that the Medicines Control Council would make the drug available only on prescription. Large retail pharmacies and many independent chemists had backed the initiative.
Codeine is a derivative of morphine, used commonly as a painkiller.
Many popular medicines and some cough syrups contain the substance. – Katharine Child