vape law

Leading Aussie pharmacies oppose new vape laws

Major Australian pharmacies, including Priceline, TerryWhite Chemmart, and Blooms, have voiced their disapproval of the new vape laws.

With amendments from the Greens, Labor has passed a new legislation that will see vapes sold at pharmacies without the need for a prescription from October 1.

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia, along with the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, TerryWhite Chemmart, Priceline, National Pharmacies, Blooms and Pharmacy 777 pharmacy groups alongside thousands of independent pharmacies have all opposed the new changes.

Anthony Tassone, National Vice President of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, said that thanks to this secret, Greens-led deal, community pharmacies across Australia are being asked to supply nicotine-containing vapes without a prescription.

“Pharmacists are healthcare professionals and community pharmacies do not want to supply this potentially harmful, highly addictive product without a prescription.”

The amendments proposed by the Greens will see nicotine-containing vapes move from prescription only (Schedule 4) to Pharmacist only (Schedule 3) from October 1, but no vaping products have been approved by the TGA and no nicotine-containing vape is listed on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods.

“Pharmacists can only supply a schedule 3 medicine if there is an established therapeutic need. When we don’t know the long-term effects of vapes on patient safety, how can a pharmacist make an informed decision?” asked Tassone.

No guidance or protocol exists for pharmacies to stock unregulated substances with no established therapeutic benefit.

Following the passing of the legislation, Health Minister Mark Butler said that recreational vaping is a scourge and a public health menace, particularly for children and young people.

“Every now and then, the Parliament has a real opportunity to do something meaningful and lasting for the health of young Australians and today was one of those days.”

The Pharmacy Guild has expressed its concern about the impact the amendments will have on pharmacy insurance premiums, business risks, and regulatory compliance, as well as how this legislation will address concerns around the availability of black-market vapes and organised crime.

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