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Medicines strategy vital for all New Zealanders

13 April 2006

Medicines strategy vital for all New Zealanders

The Announcement by Associate Minister of Health Peter Dunne of consultation criteria for developing a National medicine sStrategy for New Zealand has been welcomed by the Access To Medicines NGO Coalition (ATM).

Spokesperson Eamonn Smythe said the formation of ATM, which represent more than 25 health-based non-government organisations, had as a core goal the formation of a National Medicines Strategy. He said that ATM had alwaysmaintained that the issue of access to medicines in new Zealand was wider than just a review of the Government’s medicines funding agency Pharmac.

“What ATM member groups have sought,” Eamonn Smythe said, “ was a comprehensive review of the systems of medicines supply, leading to the development of a national strategy to enable better and more equitable access to medicines for New Zealanders.”

Today’s statement from Peter Dunne, outlining how a national medicines strategy will be developed, including a strategic look at the role of medicines in health care delivery, is welcomed as a significant move in the right direction.

“Mr Dunne spoke at the launch of the ATM last year and it is with renewed confidence that the groups comprising ATM will be looking forward to assisting in whatever way we can to enable this to become a reality.A national strategy can only lead to better health care for new Zealanders, bringing us in line with other OECD countries and once again establishing new Zealand as a fit place to live.”

ENDS

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