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Hikes Pharmaceutical Costs Now Possible

Regional Hikes for Pharmaceutical Costs are Now Possible

Pharmaceutical costs could differ from region to region as individual District Health Boards introduce their own pharmaceutical contracts, ACT Health Spokesman Heather Roy warned today.

"The Minister of Health must accept responsibility for any hikes in pharmaceutical costs.

"The Minister of Health announced in the House today that the Pharmacy Guild and the organisation District Health Boards New Zealand have come to an agreement regarding the national pharmacy contract.

"But because the Minister has devolved the pharmaceutical contract, she is unable to enforce a nationally consistent arrangement. She has knee-capped herself. Individual DHBs may find themselves under no obligation to accept this agreement. They could instead implement their own arrangements. It is my understanding that this will be the case in at least one DHB.

"The concerns of the Pharmacy Guild are far from met. Today's announcement does not signal the end of the ongoing difficulties between District Health Boards New Zealand and the Pharmacy Guild. Families who happen to live in the wrong region could end up paying dearly as a result of the Minister's failure to address the concerns of the Guild," Mrs Roy said.

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