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Patients Don’t Have To Accept Drug Price Increase

Patients Don’t Have To Accept Drug Price Increase – Says PHARMAC

PHARMAC is telling patients on the anti-ulcerant drug omeprazole (brandname Losec) that they don’t have to accept the price increase introduced by the company, as there are other fully funded treatments available.

Drug company Astra Zeneca has announced it is changing the way it supplies Losec to pharmacies, which means patients will now have to pay a manufacturer’s surcharge on this drug.

PHARMAC General Manager Wayne McNee says while PHARMAC is clearly disappointed over the company’s decision to force this cost on to patients, the important issue is making sure patients realise they have other options.

Medical Director Dr Peter Moodie says it is a good opportunity for patients and doctors to consider whether they actually need to continue with the treatment.

However, Peter Moodie says for those who still need to be on a treatment there is a range of fully funded options available. Patients should be asking their doctor if one of these is suitable to treat their condition.

Wayne McNee says this price increase is likely to affect thousands of patients.

“Astra Zeneca says this is a straight out commercial decision. What PHARMAC is saying to those patients affected by the decision is that they don’t have to sit back and take it. There are other fully funded drugs available which can treat the same conditions as omeprazole does.”

Wayne McNee says to ensure patients aren’t paying an unnecessary manufacturer’s surcharge they should discuss fully funded options with their doctor.

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