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Blue: Pharmac in the dark

Dr Jackie Blue National Party Associate Health Spokeswoman
1 March 2006

Blue: Pharmac in the dark

National's Associate Health spokeswoman, Dr Jackie Blue, is concerned that Pharmac is not yet involved in the proposed Medicines Review.

"Not only is the Government intent on shutting out members of the public, now they are shutting out their own drug buying agency," says Dr Blue.

"New Zealand pharmaceutical policy needs reform. Pharmac admitted in Parliament's health select committee today that per head of population funding for pharmaceuticals hasn't kept pace with inflation.

"As a result of questions raised, it was patently obvious that Pharmac knew very little about the medicines review.

"They said that the review was being run by the Ministry of Health, but were unsure of the timelines.

"They said the Minister in charge of the review was Peter Dunne, but had received no information or details on goals, involvement or the actual impact that this review would have on the Pharmac organisation."

A review of medicines policy is part of Labour's confidence and supply agreement with United Future.

"We are almost six months down the track and it is clear that Pharmac has no clue about it.

"This news will be extremely disappointing to the health sector, key stakeholders and consumers who have been eagerly waiting to have a forum where they can express their views," says Dr Blue.

ENDS

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