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In the News

Drug survey reveals rise of internet dealers – In the News

John Kerr posted in on April 21st, 2016.

An annual survey of frequent drug users has revealed that the internet is becoming an increasingly common tool for sourcing drugs. The latest results from the Massey University Illicit Drug Monitoring System (IDMS) study show 72 per cent of frequent drug users report increased buying and selling of drugs via social media and encrypted websites. […]

SMC BRIEFING: Medical cannabis products

John Kerr posted in on April 20th, 2016.

Medical cannabis products such as Sativex and Epidolex have been in the headlines for months, with many patients pushing for greater access. But what exactly are these products and do they even work? The Science Media Centre held an online briefing with researchers and journalists to find out more about the current state of research […]

Meth contaminated homes, what’s the risk? – Expert reaction

John Kerr posted in on March 24th, 2016.

Costly clean-ups for ‘P’-contaminated homes have been grabbing headlines, but what are the real risks facing a family moving in? Media have reported on figures released that  show the number of state houses testing positive for methamphetamine contamination (from use or manufacturing) is increasing. There have also been a number of media reports of other homes […]

Testing for drugs down the drain – In the News

John Kerr posted in on December 22nd, 2015.

Prime Minister John Key this month revealed $5.1m extra in funding allocated to anti-drug initiatives, including $220,000 to allow for wastewater analysis to test for illicit drug use. The testing will monitor the trace levels of drugs and drug by-products in sewage and wastewater, providing population-level data on what drugs people in an area are […]

New melanoma drug in the headlines

John Kerr posted in on September 8th, 2015.

A promising melanoma drug has doctors and patient groups calling for the medicine to be funded by PHARMAC in New Zealand. There has been a flurry of media coverage following a feature story about pembrolizumab on the current affairs show 3D. The drug, marketed as Keytruda, helps the patient’s immune system to fight certain types […]

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Ecstasy not so safe – Leo Schep

John Kerr posted in on June 23rd, 2015.

Dr Leo Schep, a toxicologist at the National Poisons Centre, University of Otago, argues against claims that MDMA is relatively safe and could be regulated in New Zealand, in an opinion piece on the New Zealand Herald website. An excerpt (read in full here): Leo Schep: Ecstasy not the safe party drug advocates claim In […]

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Media buzz over MDMA regulation

John Kerr posted in on June 19th, 2015.

The prospect of regulating the sale of party drug MDMA has been thrust into the spotlight this week, stirring robust debate on how New Zealand approaches drug legislation. The media have reported widely on comments from emergency doctor Paul Quigley, who said that regulating the sale of pure MDMA would be safer than allow people […]

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UPDATED: Should pure ‘ecstasy’ be regulated? – Expert reaction

John Kerr posted in on June 18th, 2015.

Wellington emergency medicine doctor Paul Quigley has made a public call for pure MDMA to be considered for legal sale. MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine) is the active ingredient in ecstasy pills, although, as Dr Quigley notes, now such pills often contain other psychoactive drugs. Dr Quigley’s comments, initially reported in the New Zealand Drug Foundation magazine Matters […]

UPDATED: Funding new medicines in NZ – Expert reaction

Laura Goodall posted in on April 17th, 2015.

Funding new medicines in New Zealand can take over eight years and recommending a drug as high priority does not necessarily shorten its wait time, a new study finds. New research published today in the New Zealand Medical Journal has found that there are a substantial number of medicines awaiting funding in New Zealand by […]

Synthetic cannabis deaths in Australia – experts respond

John Kerr posted in on January 15th, 2015.

Two Australian men have died after suspected poisoning from a batch of synthetic cannabis. A 33-year old man from Queensland has died, and a second 41-year old man who was in critical condition has now also died, after suspected poisoning from a batch of synthetic cannabis. Both men fell ill in Mackay, in central Queensland, […]

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