Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters New Zealand’s regulation of new psychoactive substances

Regulating new psychoactive drugs: innovation leading to compromise

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 13 August 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g5085
  1. Leo J Schep, toxicologist1,
  2. Paul Gee, consultant emergency medicine2,
  3. Malcolm Tingle, associate professor and member of the Psychoactive Substances Expert Advisory Committee3,
  4. Susanna Galea, consultant psychiatrist and clinical director4,
  5. David Newcombe, senior lecturer and associate director5
  1. 1National Poisons Centre, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago, PO Box 913, Dunedin, New Zealand
  2. 2Emergency Department, Christchurch Hospital and Christchurch School of Medicine, University of Otago, Christchurch, New Zealand
  3. 3Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology, University of Auckland, New Zealand
  4. 4Community Alcohol and Drug Services, Waitemata DHB, New Zealand
  5. 5Social and Community Health and Centre for Addiction Research, University of Auckland, New Zealand
  1. leo.schep{at}

Owing to the increasing availability of new, and legal, psychoactive drugs (NPDs),1 the New Zealand government enacted ground breaking legislation in May 2013; the Psychoactive Substance Act requires evidence of low risk before NPDs can be legally sold.2 3 A transitional period was created until safety testing regimes were finalised. Public outrage, however, grew as adverse effects of “interim approved” drugs …

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