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Pippa Mackay Appointed Medicines Assn Chair

Dr Pippa Mackay Appointed Chairman Of Researched Medicines Industry Association

The Researched Medicines Industry Association of New Zealand (RMI) announced today (June 1, 2004) the appointment of Dr Pippa MacKay FRNZCGP as the organisation's new chairman.

Lesley Clarke, Chief Executive Officer of the RMI, the professional and trade organisation of New Zealand's research-based pharmaceutical industry said: `We are delighted Pippa has agreed to serve as chairman at what is a critical point for the future of the industry in New Zealand. The role of this industry is to research and develop new medicines and make them available for the practice of evidence based medicine. As one of the country's most highly regarded clinicians Pippa will bring an important perspective to this work.'

Dr MacKay commented: `This is an exciting opportunity to make a difference by putting a voice to public concerns about the future of healthcare in New Zealand. One of my priorities as chairman of the RMI is to encourage communication between the different players and find ways to improve what is clearly a healthcare system which is failing to deliver what people need.'

`Many doctors and patients are concerned the restrictive influence of ever tighter funding for medicines has gone too far, which has left New Zealanders with second-class medicines or restricted access to those few new medicines available in this country. I am keen to ensure the patients' and doctors' right to access pharmaceutical medicines is protected and fully understood.

`While is it important to ensure New Zealanders get the best value for money from their medicines, this is not achieved by under funding PHARMAC and putting up with poor quality and poor supply. Australia manages to afford twice as much per head as we do on medicines for its people.

`New Zealand wants and needs a vibrant scientific community, but I am increasingly anxious that scientific research and development is threatened by Government policies which fail to understand the vital role to be played by the pharmaceutical industry. There has been too much hostility and too little constructive dialogue'. About the RMI The RMI's 18 member companies are engaged in the research, development, manufacture and marketing of prescription medicines and the ongoing improvement of medical and scientific knowledge about their products for the benefit of all New Zealanders.

About Dr Pippa MacKay

Dr Pippa MacKay MBChB Otago 1978, Dip Obst Otago 1984, FRNZCGP 1998.

After graduation, Pippa worked in the UK, Australia and New Zealand before becoming a partner in general practice in the Ilam Medical Centre, Christchurch in 1987 where she still practises.

In 1989 Pippa was elected to the National Executive of the New Zealand Medical Association and serviced as its chairman from 1999 to 2001.

She was elected as a member of the New Zealand Medical Council in 2003.

Pippa served on the board of the Southern Regional Health Authority from 1991 to 1996, during which time she held the post of Maternity Mortality Assessor.

Since 1989 she has been an operating surgeon at the Lyndhurst Hospital, Canterbury.

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