MELANIE FOSTERAAP

LETTER TO THE ED: Why sell grog freely but not codeine?

THE Therapeutic Goods Administration has again reacted in the typical style of the nanny state by considering restricting over-the-counter sale of codeine-based painkillers and the threat of having to obtain a doctor's prescription.

The cost to the nation and the general public would be enormous.

They base their impulsive proposal on the rubbery figures of codeine causing a number of deaths either by accidental overuse, deliberate overdosing or mental health problems.

The TGA claim there were 1473 possible deaths attributable to codeine-based medicines last year. While any death is regrettable, it is a very minor percentage when balanced against the country's population of 23.3 million.

But compare those figures against the 13,000-plus Australians who die every year from tobacco-related illnesses, while another 5000-plus a year die from alcohol.

Why are the deadly duo of tobacco and alcohol sold so freely, without bureaucratic interference, while a common painkiller sends the TGA into a restrictive frenzy?

It just doesn't make sense. But then the bureaucratic mind is a dark place devoid of common sense and sound reasoning.

- B BARRY, Bundaberg



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