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Lies, Damned Lies and PHARMAC Statistics

Lies, Damned Lies and PHARMAC Statistics

Heather Roy
Monday, 20 March 2006
Press Releases - Health

Figures showing that Australia funds 37% more pharmaceutical products than New Zealand highlights why a proper review of PHARMAC is necessary, says ACT Health Spokesman, Heather Roy.

"The Researched Medicines Industry Association have disclosed that Australia lists 2500 products on its Pharmaceutical Benefits Schedule, while New Zealand only has 1815", Mrs Roy said.

"Official statistics released late last year shows PHARMAC listing only nine new pharmaceuticals on the Schedule, compared to 15 in 2004 and just three in 2003.

"By pretending that New Zealanders have more pharmaceutical options than Australians, it appears that PHARMAC have been less than honest with their Minister and with the country.

"This case of 'lies, damned lies and statistics' illustrates why we need an independent investigation of PHARMAC, rather than a jack-up 'Medicines Review' from the Ministry of Health.

"The Ministry review is designed simply to satisfy the fine print of United Future's coalition agreement, but New Zealanders deserve an open and transparent inquiry, where everyone can have their say.

"By voting down my Members Bill last week, which would have removed PHARMAC's immunity from Part 2 of the Commerce Act, Parliament has denied alternative treatments to patients in the absence of more effective medication funding.

"My Bill would have allowed doctors to prescribe the best medicines for their patients, instead of being limited to the ones that PHARMAC choose to subsidise", Mrs Roy said.

ENDS

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