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

 


Medsafe decision is simply depressing


Medsafe decision is simply depressing

Medsafe has ignored worldwide calls for a highly controversial and potentially dangerous anti-depressant drug to be withdrawn from the market and instead has allowed its continued sale to New Zealanders, Green MP Sue Kedgley said today.

Ms Kedgley, the Green Health spokesperson, urged Medsafe to immediately withdraw Serzone, prescribed for moderate to serious depression, from the market because of a demonstrated link to liver failure and death.

"The evidence is mounting that this is a drug with potentially fatal side-effects and that we have very little need for it in New Zealand," said Ms Kedgley.

"Since February 2000 we are aware of 14 cases of hepatic (liver) illnesses - seven of liver injury and five cases of abnormal liver function - in patients who are prescribed Serzone in New Zealand.

"I want answers from Medsafe and the Minister of Health as to why it is taking so long for this drug to be removed from the market, when serious risk of liver damage from the drug have been know for years.

"There are other drugs available for depression treatment, so why keep this drug on the market?" she asked.

"It seems odd that we went into overdrive and withdrew hundreds of complimentary health products over a minor over-the counter travel medicine but when it comes to a pharmaceutical with significant side effects the Government is dragging its feet."

Reports of liver injury of which the drug is a factor have increased steadily around the world. Serzone has been removed from the European and Canadian markets and there have been calls in both Australia and the United States for the drug to be banned.

A national class-action lawsuit was launched on behalf of Canadians who have become ill or died as a result of taking Serzone, and similar actions have developed in Australian and the US.

"The rate of liver failure that leads either to death or the need for a transplant is about four times higher than normal according the US Federal Drug Administration, whose concern was so great they now require a warning of 'life-threatening liver failure' on each packet of Serzone," said Ms Kedgley.

"The reports of liver failure, while not numerous, are hugely concerning. Medical safety information lists potential problems ranging from a severely inflamed liver and jaundice and can lead to kidney and brain degeneration, while death or the need for a transplant can arrive between two weeks and six months after beginning Serzone therapy."


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

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:

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news