Monday, December 18, 2023

Kevin: The Cough Medicine That Works Is Back

If you have a cold or ’flu, the new G3vernment has come to your rescue by returning the good drugs back to chemists’ shelves.

The reason they were removed in the first place was because those good drugs have pseudoephedrine in them, a key ingredient in the manufacture of methamphetamine. The thinking was that if we make that ingredient harder to come by, we would reduce the methamphetamine supply in New Zealand.
The ban was spearheaded by Paul Holmes and the then government science advisor, Sir Peter Gluckman, back in 2009. It was a purely political move as even back then sale of products with pseudoephedrine was contributing very little to the so-called meth epidemic.

[…] Even those with only an elementary understanding of economics will know if demand for a product is not diminished, supply will recover to meet it. And that’s what happened, but as it did so some thoroughly unintended (although certainly foreseeable) consequences occurred that forever changed the criminal underworld in New Zealand. Reversing the policy now will not change that.

[…] Small-time meth cooks were replaced by massive international factories. Instead of reducing supply as intended, supply was actually going through the roof. And, subsequently, the price of methamphetamine plummeted.

Which was totally predictable. Take out one dealer and a bigger one will take his place.

[…] In making these international connections, our local crooks were introduced to big, international players.

Those players taught them a whole heap of underworld dance moves, turning our scene from a local disco to an international concert. Our underworld was transformed.

Of course, the policy of removing cold and flu medication wasn’t responsible for all of this country’s international criminal connections (some already existed), but without a shadow of a doubt it broadened and accelerated this process.

At the time of the ban it was claimed that phenylephrine was just as good. It wasn’t and isn’t. Studies have shown that it’s no better than placebo. To claim it was ‘just as good’ was an outright lie.

So thank you, David. Having pseudoephedrine back on the chemists’ shelves will be a welcome relief. Literally.

By the way, meth use and poisonings have increased dramatically after the ban yet you don’t hear much about it in the media. Could this be because it’s now Maori that mainly use it? I mean we can’t have it being called a ‘brown’ drug now can we?

Kevin is a Libertarian and pragmatic anarchist. His favourite saying: “There but for the grace of God go I.” This article was first published HERE


Rob Beechey said...

We have adults back in Government.

Anonymous said...

If our government 'really' cared about we the peoples health, we should also have ready access to ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine as well.

Doug Longmire said...

Just to correct you on one point:- pseudoephedrine is NOT a "cough" medicine. It is a decongestant, used primarily for nasal and head congestion. Yes - it may be included in some cough mixtures.
You are quite right - phenylephrine is completely ineffective.

There is another true cough medicine called pholcodine which is the only effective cough suppressant for tickly coughs. The gestapo in the Ministry of Health intend to ban it next year, leaving New Zealanders with no effective cough suppressant.
Doug L, retired pharmacist