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


Stagnant drug budget sees patients suffer

Dr Lynda Scott

National Health Spokeswoman

22 April 2004

Stagnant drug budget sees patients suffer

New Zealanders' tolerance for having medicines changed continually is staggering, says National's Health spokeswoman Dr Lynda Scott.

Government's sole drug funding agency, PHARMAC, is considering replacing Lipitor, the most prescribed and evidenced as the most effective cholesterol-reducing drug available, with a similar cheaper drug, Lipix. It is a decision that is being criticised by leading cardiologists.

Dr Scott says the Government has backed PHARMAC into a corner over the decision.

"For the three years to 2003, government funding for PHARMAC remained stagnant, at $512 million per year. There is an increasing demand for drugs, as well as price increases yet the budget has remained the same

"Thousands of people are suffering from high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease paying the price for reduced access to very effective medication.

Dr Scott says changing the drug may reduce costs in the short-term, but in the long term costs will increase.

"A less effective drug can lead to increased hospitalisations, more drugs for patients, and expensive surgery further down the track.

"PHARMAC and the Government must put the best interests of patients first, not just the short-term bottom line, when making this decision", says Dr Scott.

"This decision needs to be reconsidered in light of criticism from leading cardiologists on behalf of their patients".


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Werewolf: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>


Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election