Herald on Sunday: Time to declare outright war on P

Broadcaster and commentator Paul Holmes responding to Chief Science Advisor, Professor Sir Peter Gluckman’s suggestion that over-the-counter sale of drugs containing pseudoephedrine could be banned.

An excerpt: (Read in full here)

“Since Sir Peter made his recommendation, and since the Stellar Trust issued its positive response to him, I have heard from a coroner who happens also to be a chemist. He says the contribution of over-the-counter sales of drugs containing pseudoephedrine to the P epidemic is miniscule. And he says that if the drugs were still available on prescription, chemists would still have to have the drugs on site. However, he mentioned a Queensland system called Project Stop. All Queensland chemists are on-line. A customer buying cold or flu medicine containing a precursor has to produce a driver’s licence. This name of the purchaser is entered immediately online and the police can react very smartly. In New Zealand, the information the police get from chemists is historic, not immediate. This coroner tells me the online reporting system is believed to have led to a 30 per cent drop in the number of P labs in Queensland in the past five years.”