Managing inappropriate use of non-prescription combination analgesics containing codeine: a modified Delphi study Academic Article uri icon


  • Misuse and/or dependence upon non-prescription combination analgesics containing codeine (NP-CACC) can result in serious physiological and psychological harms.To explore pharmacists' and other health care professionals' ideas and views on strategies for managing NP-CACC misuse and/or dependence in a community pharmacy setting.A 3-iteration modified Delphi study was conducted to gain the consensus view of panelists. Forty experts within the fields of pharmacy and drug misuse and/or dependence agreed to be on the panel. Questionnaires explored opinions on issues and possible strategies that could be used to manage NP-CACC misuse and/or dependence. Responses from the first-round questionnaire were summarized and reported back to panelists through the second-round questionnaire for further reflection and evaluation using a 6-point, Likert-type scale. Strategies included in the third-round questionnaire had agreement by more than 80% of panelists. Panelists provided feedback on effectiveness using a 6-point, Likert-type scale for impact.The response rates for the 3 rounds were 65%, 67.5% and 55%, respectively. Panelists provided 54 strategies in round 1. In round 2 there was consensus agreement with 31 of these strategies. In round 3 there was consensus that 21 strategies were expected to be effective (>80% of panelists expected the strategy to be effective, median above Somewhat Effective (4), IQD ≤1). Of these, 8 were expected to have the most impact if implemented into clinical practice (chosen by 5 or more panelists in their Top 5 for impact). The strategies identified as effective and likely to have the most impact on NP-CACC misuse/dependence in a community pharmacy setting were: utilization of a national real-time database to monitor product sales to aid identification of at-risk people (100% effectiveness, rank 1 for impact); development of a referral pathway for management of people whom pharmacists have identified as at-risk (95.2% effectiveness, rank 2 for impact), and training to improve pharmacist communication with people (95% effectiveness, rank 2 for impact).The high level of consensus achieved indicates that the strategies generated represent useful approaches which could be utilized to manage NP-CACC misuse and/or dependence within community pharmacy in the future.

publication date

  • 2017