Govt moves to restrict party pill drug
The government is moving to restrict sales of DMAA, an ingredient in a new generation of party pills.
Associate Minister of Health Peter Dunne says the Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs (EACD) has considered the risk posed by 1,3 dimethylamylamine DMAA and advised it be scheduled as a restricted substance.
The scheduling will mean a prohibition on:
- selling or supplying DMAA to anyone under 18 years of age
- advertising DMAA
- offering it as a gift or reward
DMAA is the replacement pill for BZP after it was banned 18 months ago, and is marketed as a safer alternative to alcohol and hard drugs.
Products containing DMAA will now have to meet strict labelling and packaging requirements.
Dunne says he has also asked the Ministry of Health to look at legislation prohibiting the sale of large quantities of the pure chemical form of DMAA.
This will outlaw the sale of the substance, in any form other than as a tablet or capsule.
The Ministry will also consult the "party pill" industry on controls on the maximum dose of DMAA per tablet or capsule.
Dunne says the Ministry is working with other government agencies on the underlying policy and regulatory issues that needs to be worked through before DMAA can be scheduled as a restricted substance.
"I am releasing the advice of the EACD now to warn consumers of the known risks of this substance and to place the "party pill" industry on notice that strict controls around products containing DMAA will be forthcoming," says Dunne.
DMAA has been linked with hospitalisations in Australia, but not in New Zealand as yet, with Saturday's announcement coming as a pre-emptive strike.
Party pill makers pleased
Party pill makers say they are pleased with the tightening of rules on the "new generation" pills.
Social Tonics Association spokesman Matt Bowden says it is something the manufacturers have been campaigning for.
He says tight regulation of the products makes much more sense than trying to ban them outright.
The party pill industry says that, if anything, the controls do not go far enough. They also want restrictions on the amount of DMAA per pill - a 75 milligram maximum.
"With BZP we never had dosage limits, the pills were too strong and some people got sick. Let's put dosage limits in place quickly this time," Bowden says.
Published: 3:26PM Saturday November 07, 2009
Source: NZPA/Newstalk ZB/ONE News