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Pharmac Failure Leads To Dispensing U-Turn

Pharmac Failure Leads To Dispensing U-Turn

Thursday 26 Aug 2004 Heather Roy Press Releases -- Health

Having not achieved its predicted savings with a move to three-monthly dispensing, Pharmac is now considering even greater control of the way in which medications are dispensed, ACT New Zealand Health Spokesman Heather Roy said today.

"Pharmac claims that doctors are making too much use of `close-control dispensing' - using their discretion to determine how often patients are required to have their prescriptions renewed," Mrs Roy said.

"Not only has Pharmac severely limited the range of medications that doctors can prescribe for their patients, but it now wants to dictate how often patients pick up their medication from the pharmacy - overriding doctors' wishes.

"Three-month dispensing suits many patients well, but there are good reasons for maintaining close-control dispensing for some others - to avoid confusion for elderly patients, to decrease suicide risk, and it is an effective way of re-assessing patients to ensure they have the right medication and the dosage that has been prescribed.

"Pharmac has also completely ignored the unnecessary wastage that is known to occur with three-monthly dispensing - something that was of grave importance to Pharmac when it moved from three-monthly dispensing, to one-monthly.

"Medicine is not a one-size-fits-all science. Doctors are best placed to determine the needs and safety issues of their patients, and they must be allowed the freedom to do so. Pharmac is only interested in State control. Imposing further restrictions on the way doctors treat their patients does no good at all," Mrs Roy said.


For more information visit ACT online at or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at

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