More young people will die of drug overdoses at Australian music festivals unless swift change is made to drug policies, pill testing advocates say.
After a NSW coroner described as "compelling" the evidence supporting a pill testing trial at festivals, Pill Testing Australia clinical lead David Caldicott called on NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and other pill testing opponents to jump aboard before it's too late.
"You can either get on board this now with a degree of good grace or be dragged on board later looking ridiculous, callous and without an ounce of compassion," he told AAP on Friday.
Deputy NSW Coroner Harriet Grahame on Friday recommended pill testing among 28 recommendations after a lengthy inquest into six MDMA-related deaths at NSW music festivals.
She said medically supervised drug checking wasn't a magic solution but she was in "no doubt whatsoever" there was sufficient evidence to support a trial in NSW.
Dr Caldicott welcomed the recommendations and reiterated PTA's standing invitation to NSW and any other Australian jurisdiction that wants a free pill testing trial.
PTA has run two trials in the ACT since 2018.
"We'll do it for free," the Canberra emergency doctor said.
The nature of the Australian drug market - and the current responses to that market - meant it was "inevitable" more festival-goers will die this summer unless Australia starts to do something different "and starts to do it quickly", he said.
"Every time someone else dies unnecessarily ... the politicians who have opposed pill testing are going to have to justify why they are doing that," he said.
Fellow pill testing advocate Stephen Bright said the coroner's report and another independent inquiry into ice use in NSW will create additional pressure on politicians to change drug policy.
"At the end of the day, it provides a really strong case and the only thing lacking is political appetite," the West Australian academic told AAP.
"Politicians are often behind political attitudes when it comes to issues such as pill testing."
Ms Berejiklian on Friday insisted: "We have a strong view that pill testing is not the way."
"There are lots of (other) ways in which we can, of course, improve safety, reduce risk of death or harm for young people and there are certainly opportunities for us to look at that," she told reporters.
The inquest examined the deaths of Nathan Tran, Joseph Pham, Callum Brosnan, Diana Nguyen, Joshua Tam and Alex Ross-King.
All were aged under 24 and took multiple MDMA capsules the day they attended NSW music festivals in the 13 months to January 2019.
Australian Associated Press