24 August 2020 - Deborah Wilkes
New Zealand has set a date to reverse-switch codeine, while the UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has a new chair and is backing a fire risk campaign for skin creams.
New Zealand sets codeine date
New Zealand has set a date to reverse-switch all medicines containing codeine from non-prescription to prescription status.
The move – which was recommended by the country’s Medicines Classification Committee (MCC) in 2019 (click here to read the News story) – will be implemented on 5 November 2020.
New chair for UK’s MHRA
The UK's MHRA has appointed Stephen Lightfoot as chair with effect from 1 September 2020.
He succeeds Sir Michael Rawlins who has been chair since December 2014.
Lightfoot has been a non-executive director of the MHRA since September 2015. He is also deputy chair of Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust and non-executive chair of Sussex Primary Care Limited.
He spent 30 years in the life sciences industry where he worked for GE Healthcare, Daiichi Sankyo and Schering Healthcare.
Campaign on skin creams
A campaign to raise awareness of the fire risks associated with skin creams has been launched in the UK.
The campaign is backed by the UK's MHRA, the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC), Fire and Rescue Services and health charities.
The MHRA says some skin creams, when dried on to fabric, can create a highly flammable combination that can cause serious injury and death. The regulatory agency adds that the risk arises, even if the creams do not contain paraffin.
The campaign highlights both the risks and precautions that can be taken to avoid fires.