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Govt Backdown On Pharmacy Deregulation

24 May 2002

The Government has folded to political pressure and backed down on its policy to deregulate pharmacies, National Health Spokesperson Roger Sowry said today.

"Under the cover of the Budget Annette King has announced that the Government now won't deregulate pharmacies. This has been a very controversial issue opposed by National and pharmacies. I am pleased the Minister has finally seen sense.

"Bill English said at the Pharmacy Guild's recent conference that National was against total deregulation of pharmacies and that we supported the Guild's position of limited multiple ownership. Annette King came out opposing our policy.

"The Minister has been rolled on her policy to deregulate pharmacies. She released the policy in the low media coverage time between Christmas and New Year. Now she's hiding behind the Budget in backing down.

"National has always said it was most important that pharmacy services were both safe and effective and that the public interest was protected. We were not convinced that this would be the case with deregulation," Mr Sowry said.

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