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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 4 Hansard (22 April) . . Page.. 1149 ..

MR BERRY (continuing):

but there are some that we would not be happy to support. It has been suggested that this debate might be adjourned. If other members are interested in adjourning it, we would support that. If the Government insists on pushing it through today - - -

Ms Carnell: No, the Government has never insisted on it. The Government is happy for an adjournment.

MR BERRY: Well, hop up and adjourn it, and that will be the end of it. We can deal with it some other time. If you want to get these things through quickly I think it is extremely important to talk to the people who are concerned. The first point of call, I would suggest, is the organisation which represents the employees that are mostly affected by it, and that has not been done.

Debate (on motion by Ms Tucker ) adjourned.


Debate resumed from 25 March 1999, on motion by Mr Moore:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (11.58): Mr Speaker, the Opposition is happy to support this piece of legislation. The Bill was introduced by the Minister for Health on 25 March. It is another piece of legislation with a very short gestation period. The Bill gives effect to the agreement between State and Territory Health Ministers to allow the advertising of pharmacist-only medicines identified on a product-by-product basis by the National Drugs and Poisons Schedule Committee which publishes the standard for the uniform scheduling of drugs and poisons under the auspices of the Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council.

The current Act prohibits the advertising of pharmacist-only medicines except in publications intended for circulation only within the medical, nursing, veterinary, dental or pharmaceutical professions or the wholesale drug industry. Examples of pharmacist-only medicines which we are advised will be permitted to be advertised to the general public are such things as some non-sedating antihistamines, drugs such as for the treatment of spasm of the gastrointestinal tract, preparations for hair growth promotion, and things such as nicotine patches and chewing gum as aids to smoking cessation.

The Opposition agrees with the Government that permitting these drugs to be advertised more widely will assist in making the general public more aware of what treatments are available without prescription from their local pharmacist. We share the view that the Government obviously has that allowing that to happen is an aid to the general community. We believe this is reasonable legislation and we are happy to support it, Mr Speaker.

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