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Dunne: Pharmac fails on bird flu vaccine, funding

Dunne: Pharmac fails on bird flu vaccine and funding

Pharmac has sought no additional money from the Government for funding medicines for New Zealanders and has no contingency plans to get extra supplies bird flu vaccines should there be an outbreak, United Future leader Peter Dunne revealed in Parliament today.

“These are two massive failures of care and forward planning on the part of this flawed organisation - and New Zealanders will definitely suffer for one of them and very possibly suffer catastrophically from the other.

“This is the same organisation that underspends its budget by $20 million and then says it could get more and better medication for New Zealanders if it had more funding, before not bothering to seek so much as an extra dollar,” Mr Dunne said.

“It would be laughable if it weren’t so serious, but it is serious and Pharmac needs to explain to sufferers of multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson’s and other debilitating illness why they can’t get the medication that they need,” he said.

“Pharmac is clearly is more interested in winning brownie points from the Government’s bean-counters for every dollar it saves than it is in serving the medicinal and health needs of Kiwis.”

Mr Dunne said Pharmac’s inaction on provision of bird flu vaccine sources was simply disgraceful and pointed to steps taken by Australian authorities to protect their population in the event of a bird flu outbreak.

“This is potentially the most lethal pandemic faced globally in modern times and we are in the hands of an organisation as incompetent as Pharmac. It is truly frightening,” he said.


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