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King ignores warning on trans-Tasman health agency

Dr Lynda Scott National Health Spokeswoman

9 December 2003

King ignores warning on trans-Tasman health agency

The National Party is attacking the Health Minister's decision to push ahead with a trans-Tasman agency to regulate complementary healthcare products.

"Annette King's stubbornness flies in the face of public and industry concerns, as well as ignoring a comprehensive health select committee report which said this agency shouldn't proceed," says National's Health spokeswoman Dr Lynda Scott.

"The Minister is snubbing the select committee process by turning a blind eye to the report.

"A trans-Tasman agency to regulating therapeutic products will effectively hand the control of New Zealand's complementary health industry to Australia," says Dr Scott.

"It's a move that's going to cost the industry and consumers. Australia has the most highly regulated industry in the world, and applying its rules here will only serve to increase the cost of products, reduce consumer choice and hurt the industry.

"Australia's system is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. The Pan Pharmaceutical scandal is a prime example of that," says Dr Scott.

"No one in the industry or on the health select committee denies that there should be industry regulation, but there are better options than the Minister's trans-Tasman deal.

"Under National a Therapeutic Goods Bill was developed to regulate the industry. It would serve as a good guideline for setting up a better regulatory regime in New Zealand," says Dr Scott.


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