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King welcomes PHARMAC’s dispensing approach

10 July 2003 Media Statement

Annette King welcomes PHARMAC’s approach to return to all-at-once dispensing

Health Minister Annette King says she is pleased PHARMAC has heeded many of the 2500 sumissions it received in reaching a constructive decision on all-at-once dispensing.

“The decision has been solely PHARMAC’s, and I am pleased PHARMAC has shown great responsibility in carefully considering all the submissions it received, particularly in taking advice from the Pharmacology and Therapeutics Advisory Committee and the Consumer Advisory Committee.

“PHARMAC’s decision gives flexibility to doctors in terms of dispensing. This is a response to submissions from clinicians, phamacists and patient groups. If a patient and doctor decide it is better to get a prescription a month at a time, that can be done, and pharmacists will be paid accordingly,” said Ms King.

“The whole consultation process has been thorough, and that gives me confidence the new system, which will be reviewed within 12 months of it beginning, will work well.”

Ms King said she welcomed the extra $132 million District Health Boards will receive as a result of this decision over the next five years to reinvest in more health care.

“PHARMAC’s savings over five years can be used to make a huge difference to the health of New Zealanders. Those savings must be used wisely and to best effect.”

ENDS

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