NZMAMonday 16 July 2012, 2:06PM
Media release from NZMA
The onus on distributors and producers of party pills and other
synthetic drugs to prove they are safe before they can be sold on
the market is strongly supported by the New Zealand Medical
Association (NZMA), which has previously called for tougher
legislation on these products.
New drug legislation was announced today by Associate Health
Minister Peter Dunne.
"We needed legislation with a far more stringent set of rules to
protect the public from the dangerous side-effects of these drugs,"
says NZMA Deputy Chair Dr Mark Peterson. "It was very concerning
that before today's announcement there was no onus of proof on
those that sell these drugs to provide evidence that they are
"Until now we've had a situation where these unregulated
drugs could be sold until they were proven dangerous, rather than
assessing their risk before they were made available for sale to
Dr Peterson says the Government's work to place restrictions on
the sale and marketing of party pills and other legal highs,
through proposed amendments to the Misuse of Drugs Act, is
essential for ensuring public safety.
"From now on those who wish to sell these products will need to
produce scientific data as is required for assessing and
introducing any new medicines to the market. We expect that this
will reduce the availability of these products."
The legislation will be introduced later this year and implemented
"We are pleased, however, that in the meantime there will be a
holding measure through the Temporary Class Drug Notices so that
there is no opportunity for banned substances to return to the
market before the law comes in," says Dr Peterson.
He commended Mr Dunne for the commitment and effort he has put
into strengthening drug legislation, which had led to more of these
products being banned.