4 Apr 2009

Mayor pleads with chemists to stop selling products used in P

1:00 pm on 4 April 2009

The mayor of Manukau City is asking South Auckland's chemists to stop selling products containing pseudo-ephedrine, which is used to make the illegal drug methamphetamine, or P.

Len Brown says young people, many of them Pacific Islanders and Maori, suggested the idea at a drug summit on Friday.

Mr Brown says many of the products are used to treat colds and cannot be banned, but some chemists might stop selling them and recommend other remedies.

He says with children as young as six and seven selling drugs for gangs, a huge effort is needed by everyone, not just the police.

However, a Radio New Zealand reporter has found that some chemists have already taken steps to minimise the sale of products.

A Manurewa chemist says his shop stopped selling the products a year ago following the intimidation of staff members and alternative products becoming available.

And an Otara chemist says the pharmacy only sells to customers with a genuine need, which is rare.

He says most of the pseudo-ephedrine that's in the market has been imported from overseas.

The Pharmacy Guild says people should be allowed access to products containing pseudo-ephedrine, if they have a genuine need for it.

The president of the Guild, Ian Johnson, says pharmacists are careful about the sale of products containing the ingredient.