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Dunne challenges PHARMAC’s performance

Tuesday, 5 April 2005

Dunne challenges PHARMAC’s performance

United Future leader Peter Dunne launched a fierce attack in Parliament today on the performance of the Government’s drug-buying agency, PHARMAC.

He quizzed Health Minister Annette King over the agency’s failure to provide New Zealanders with modern drugs for a host of illnesses such as bone density disorders, HIV/AIDS, the early stages of breast cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Alzheimer's, osteoporosis, diabetes, motor neurone disease, some forms of cancer and rheumatoid arthritis.

He also queried PHARMAC’s policy of relying on sole suppliers of drugs, leading to difficulties for New Zealanders suffering from shortages of medications for gout, sedatives, essential iron supplements for women/infants, certain antibiotics, medications for hayfever, kidney dialysis, heart failure, epilepsy, thrush, and rashes.

Mr Dunne said “This is just the tip of the iceberg. The Minister may be happy that the agency is saving money on the nation’s drug bill, but thousands of New Zealanders would prefer getting the best treatment for a wide range of illnesses.

“PHARMAC simply must perform better for the benefit of individual Kiwis, not the beancounters in the Treasury.”

ENDS


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