Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Warning Bells As NZ's No 1 Drug Linked To Asthma

7 September 2001

Warning Bells As New Zealand's No 1 Drug Linked To Asthma -Greens

Green Party Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley is calling on Pharmac to work with doctors and pharmacies to try to reduce New Zealand's extraordinarily high consumption of the pharmaceutical drug paracetamol, following the release of an international study which links high use of the painkiller with a surge in asthma cases.

"The Minister of Health confirmed in answer to a parliamentary question in June this year that paracetamol is the most commonly prescribed drug in New Zealand," Ms Kedgley said.

"Almost a million prescriptions of paracetamol were dispensed in the year ending December 2000. This is a real concern, when the new study links a high consumption of the drug with the prevalence of asthma.

"New Zealand has one of the highest asthma rates in the world, and one of the highest rates of paracetamol usage," she said.

Ms Kedgley said the comprehensive study of 140.000 people in 22 countries (one of them New Zealand) took place over ten years, and concluded there was a possible link between the drug's sale and the prevalence of asthma.

In the light of the new international study, and as a precautionary measure, Pharmac needs to investigate why paracetamol is our most highly prescribed drug, and work with doctors and pharmacists to reduce its high prescription rate in this country, she said.

Ms Kedgley said she was particularly concerned at the high consumption of paracetamol by children, given the high asthma rates amongst New Zealand children.

"Paracetamol appears to be given out indiscriminately, almost like lolly water, by some doctors. We need to educate doctors about its potentially harmful side-effects, and urge restraint by the medical profession," she said.

Ms Kedgley said Pharmac was the obvious government agency to lead a campaign to lower the prescription rate of paracetamol. "Pharmac was given a new mandate -to ensure the responsible use of pharmaceuticals -in health legislation last year. "Clearly our skyrocketing prescription rate for paracetamol is irresponsible, and Pharmac should play a leadership role in trying to reduce our consumption of the drug."

Ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

There Is A Field: Reimagining Biodiversity In Aotearoa

We are in a moment of existential peril, with interconnected climate and biodiversity crises converging on a global scale to drive most life on Earth to the brink of extinction. However, our current worldview and political paradigm renders us incapable of responding adequately due to its disconnected and divisive default settings.

These massive challenges can, however, be reframed as a once in a lifetime opportunity to fundamentally change how humanity relates to nature and to each other. Read on The Dig>>

The Dig: Scoop’s Engaged Journalism Platform Launches
The Scoop Ecosystem has grown bigger with the launch of The Dig - a new public interest, in-depth, Engaged Journalism platform. More>>

 

Unscoped Or Missed Damage: Resolution For Canterbury Owners Of On-Sold Homes

People with over-cap on-sold* properties in Canterbury can now apply for a Government payment so they can get on and repair their homes. More>>

ALSO:

Hamilton-Auckland: First Urban Growth Partnership Signed

New Zealand’s first urban growth partnership between the Government, local councils and mana whenua was signed at a meeting of mayors, chairs and ministers in Hampton Downs today. More>>

ALSO:

Vote On Action Next Week: Secondary Principals Walk From Negotiations

“Unfortunately we consider there is no further value in continuing negotiations at this point. The government has not been able to table an offer that will be acceptable to our members.” More>>

Patrol Car Stolen, Glocks Taken: Manhunt In Gore

The driver rammed the patrol car before fleeing on foot with Police chasing, also on foot. The man has then circled back around, stolen the patrol vehicle, which had the keys left in it, and rammed another Police car... Two Police-issued Glock pistols were stolen. More>>

ALSO:

"Shocking And Dangerous": Accused Mosque Shooter's Prison Letter Posted Online

The man accused of the Christchurch mosque attacks has sent seven letters from prison and had two others withheld, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says. Corrections has now blocked the accused gunman from sending or receiving mail... More>>

ALSO:

Standing On List Only: Paula Bennett To Run National’s Election Campaign

The National Party is pleased to announce the appointment of Paula Bennett as our Campaign Chair for the 2020 General Election, President Peter Goodfellow says. More>>

Waiver For State Care Inquiry: Historic Abuse Survivors 'Can Speak Freely'

Abuse in state care survivors can take part in the forthcoming Royal Commission proceedings without being bound by any confidentiality obligations to Crown agencies under their historic claim settlements, Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins said. More>>

ALSO:

Trail Trial: Sexual Violence Court Reduces Lead-Up Times And Trauma

An evaluation of New Zealand’s first sexual violence court has confirmed that the approach taken in the judge-led pilot considerably reduces the time that cases take to reach trial. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels