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Govt policy denying people access to medicine

Govt policy denying people access to vital medicines

Heather Roy Wednesday,

31 August 2005 Press Releases - Health

Doctors should be determining the best care for their patients not the Government, ACT Health spokesman Heather Roy said today.

"A report released yesterday shows that government policy is denying doctors and patients access to drug therapies that could prevent costly and painful invasive and surgical procedures later.

"This is the result of government drug buying agency Pharmac's monopoly on drug buying in New Zealand.

"Pharmac is instructed by the Minister and Ministry of Health to keep costs to a minimum and its sole supply policy has denied both patients and doctors a choice of medications.

"There are 180,000 people stuck on Labour's health waiting lists, yet this report shows that many New Zealanders are needing medical procedures that would not have been necessary if they had access to quality medications in the first place," Mrs Roy said.

"This is exactly what can be expected when government tries to make political decisions about medical problems.

"ACT wants an urgent review of the way Pharmac is funded and the way it spends its allocation of health dollars.

"Medicine is not a one-size-fits-all science. Until the Government stops interfering in decisions it is not qualified to make and leaves the practice of medicine to the doctors, nurses and health professionals who are trained to treat people this situation will only get worse," Mrs Roy said.

ENDS

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