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

 


Access To Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs Extended

3 March 2002 Media Statement

Health Minister Annette King says thousands more New Zealanders will benefit from Pharmac’s decision to widen access to statin drugs, used to lower cholesterol levels.

From 1 April, Pharmac is lifting Special Authority restrictions on statins, and widening access to these drugs. Statins are already available fully funded, but are targeted through the use of Special Authority to those patients who are at high risk of heart disease. The Special Authority will be replaced with prescribing guidelines, which will increase the number of eligible people by more than 100,000, to around 300,000.

“Helping so many more people lower their cholesterol levels through the use of statins is consistent with the aims of the New Zealand Health Strategy, which lists reducing cardiovascular disease as a priority area,” Ms King said today during National Heart Foundation “BBQ Day”, which promotes barbecues as a source of healthy eating.

Statins lower cholesterol levels in the bloodstream. High cholesterol is a known risk factor in cardiovascular diseases, such as a heart attack. Other risk factors include high blood pressure, smoking, lack of exercise, high fat diets and obesity.

Ms King said current practice was for patients to modify their lifestyle to reduce cardiovascular risk, and treatment with statin drugs could be used in addition to this. Reducing risk factors had potential flow-on effects in lowering costs in other areas, including hospital care and more expensive drug and surgical therapies.

Pharmac’s decision comes as a result of an agreement with pharmaceutical supplier Merck Sharp and Dohme, and new prescribing guidelines developed with the National Heart Foundation and the Cardiac Society. The guidelines are designed to promote the prescribing of statins to those people who would most benefit from them.

Pharmac chief executive Wayne McNee said statins were proven to be very effective in reducing cholesterol levels, “so having wider access to them has the potential to produce significant long-term benefits for patients. Pharmac has worked hard to provide wider access to these drugs, and is extremely pleased to be able to make a decision that has such potential benefits.”

But Ms King and Mr McNee stressed that having access to drugs was only one part of the equation. “We would also encourage people to follow any advice their doctor might give them to lower cholesterol by changing their lifestyle, including regular exercise and a reduced fat diet.”

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>

ALSO:

More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news