News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Patients get better access to anti-acne drug

19 December 2008

Patients get better access to anti-acne drug

Patients will benefit from a Pharmac decision to allow specialist GPs to prescribe a drug to treat the most severe cases of acne, College of GPs President Dr Jonathan Fox said today.

“This will be cheaper and simpler for patients,” he said. GPs have previously been able to prescribe the drug, but without Pharmac subsidies. Restricting funding to dermatologists only has tended to create equity issues.

“Isotretinoin is a powerful treatment that enables the reduction of facial scarring. Simpler access to this drug via their GP will have huge benefits for sufferers. We have had a tendency in the past to underestimate the effect of acne on the patient’s self-esteem, for instance.”

Dr Fox welcomed the decision as recognition of the extra training and ability of vocationally-registered GPs, who will now note their competence to deliver the drug on a special authority.

The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners will arrange for ongoing training in using such drugs as part of its Continuing Professional Development programme.

Isotretinoin must be prescribed with care as it has recognised risks; with the two most significant its effect on the unborn child and an association with an increase in suicide rates.

“GPs offer a continuity of care which is particularly important in such circumstances,” Dr Fox said.

To achieve vocational registration from the Medical Council of NZ doctors need specialist training; Fellowship of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners indicates such training has been completed and allows Fellows to apply for vocational registration This allows doctors to practice independently.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

Review: A Rose By Any Other Name Would Smell As Sweet

The Royal New Zealand Ballet has accepted the challenge of this heart-touching tragedy and largely succeeded. More>>


NZ's First Male IAAF Gold: Tom Walsh's Historic Shot Put Victory

Although feeling very sore but with a great feeling Tom Walsh took his place as number one on the victory dais to receive his much deserved gold medal. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Q&A: Hard To Find Books

"Unfortunately we are in crisis and this friendly dinosaur faces extinction… Our only hope is to try and raise funds to buy the building and restore it to its glory, either fully funded or with a viable deposit." More>>

Kid Lit: Lost Mansfield Story Discovered At Wellington Library

Previously undiscovered letters and a story written by a young Katherine Mansfield were recently unearthed in Wellington City Library’s archives by a local author researching a book about the famous writer. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland