Putting Pseudoephedrine Back in Stores May Increase Meth Crimes

Shireen Deeb
Published 3 weeks ago on 9 February, 2024
pseudoephedrine return New Zealand

The planned ‘pseudoephedrine return New Zealand’ has sparked a heated debate in health and safety circles. While proponents advocate for easier access for patients seeking relief, opponents raise concerns about a potential resurgence of methamphetamine production due to the readily available ingredient. This contentious discussion revolves around finding a delicate balance between addressing public health needs and mitigating the risks associated with illicit drug activity.

Key takeaways

  • Pseudoephedrine may return to New Zealand pharmacies as an over-the-counter drug.
  • Officials and pharmacists express concerns over potential meth-related crime.
  • ACT leader David Seymour emphasizes the benefits despite the risks.
  • Pharmacists may choose not to stock pseudoephedrine if safety issues arise.
The New Zealand government is considering reversing the prescription-only status of pseudoephedrine, despite warnings that it could lead to a spike in methamphetamine-related crimes.

pseudoephedrine return New Zealand: Benefits Versus Risks

Associate Health Minister David Seymour has acknowledged the extensive advice he received on pseudoephedrine, which has been prescription-only since 2011. He argues that while there are risks, including a history of related crimes, the benefits for those needing effective decongestants are significant. Seymour has made it clear that he would not resign if a surge in crime occurred, stating the law-abiding public should not be punished for criminal actions.

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Community Safety and Pharmacy Concerns

Pharmacists like Lanny Wong and retired pharmacist Warren Flaunty have voiced their apprehensions, suggesting that reintroducing pseudoephedrine could endanger staff and invite criminal activities such as burglaries. Flaunty anticipates hold-ups and expresses a grim outlook on the potential repercussions, implying that responsibility would fall on Seymour’s shoulders should any serious incidents occur once the drug is available over the counter again.

Year Status of Pseudoephedrine Concerns Raised
2011 Prescription-only Used in meth production
2023 Potential OTC return Risk of meth-related crime

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Warning pseudoephedrine’s return to shelves could fuel meth-related crime remains a critical point of contention as New Zealand considers changing the drug’s availability. The balance between providing effective medication to those in need and ensuring community safety continues to challenge policymakers. As the debate unfolds, the nation watches closely to see how this decision will impact both healthcare and crime prevention efforts.


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