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Kiwis denied a voice in medicines review

Dr Jackie Blue National Party Associate Health Spokeswoman

15 June 2006

Kiwis denied a voice in medicines review

Peter Dunne is denying Kiwis an opportunity to express their views about New Zealand's medicines policy, says National Party Associate Health spokeswoman Dr Jackie Blue.

She is commenting on Mr Dunne's comments at the Future Medicines Summit in Wellington, where he said there would not be a public forum as part of the medicines review because he did not want 'a wailing wall'.

"I challenged Mr Dunne at health select committee this week that his 'wailing wall' comment was offensive," says Dr Blue.

"Even Health Minister Pete Hodgson has indicated that he has no objection to a public forum.

"Mr Dunne did not back down and insisted that a public forum would be of limited value, ineffective, and could turn into a circus.

"I absolutely disagree. He is prejudging the input that New Zealanders could make in the formation of this important policy.

"I've talked to a number of groups who have indicated they would like to present an oral submission.

"Often ideas can be expressed more powerfully in a face-to-face situation.

"At the end of the day it is New Zealanders who will be the consumers of this policy. They have a right to voice their opinions.

"They should have the choice to submit either orally or in writing," says Dr Blue.

ENDS

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