Submission: The Misuse of Drugs (Pseudoephedrine) Amendment Bill

Dr Eric Crampton
26 February, 2024

1.1 This submission on the Misuse of Drugs (Pseudoephedrine) Amendment Bill[1] is made by The New Zealand Initiative (the Initiative), a Wellington-based think tank supported primarily by major New Zealand businesses. In combination, our members employ more than 150,000 people.

1.2 The Initiative undertakes research that contributes to the development of sound public policies in New Zealand and the creation of a competitive, open and dynamic economy and a free, prosperous, fair and cohesive society.

1.3 The Initiative’s members span the breadth of the New Zealand economy; their diversity strengthens our independence. The views expressed in this submission are the views of the author, not those of our members.

1.4 In summary, we submit:

(a)The ban on pseudoephedrine has failed in its stated purpose. It has not reduced the availability of methamphetamine;

(b)The legislation here is straightforward, correcting Parliament’s earlier mistake;

(c)Reinstating pharmacy access will not require any pharmacy to supply pseudoephedrine. Nor will it require anyone to use it. It will simply make it available for those suffering from cold and flu symptoms;

(d)The coalition agreements between National and New Zealand First and National and the ACT Party also called for the automatic Medsafe approval of drugs already approved by at least two trusted overseas drug approval agencies. More precise timelines may be needed for this potential policy lest it unnecessarily and unintentionally impede access to working cold medicine. The government could consider trialling the “Rule of Two” with pseudoephedrine-based cold medicines approved elsewhere for use.


[1] Misuse of Drugs (Pseudoephedrine) Amendment Bill. 2024. Available at

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