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Long time waiting for Dunne’s medicines strategy

Dr Jackie Blue
National Party Associate Health Spokeswoman (Pharmacare)

13 October 2006

Long time waiting for Dunne’s medicines strategy

Peter Dunne's promised review of medicines may have been a populist election platform in 2005 but the reality is it will be 2008 before the final report is available, says National's Associate Health spokeswoman (Pharmacare), Dr Jackie Blue.

She is commenting following Peter Dunne's address to the Multiple Sclerosis Society outlining the strategy.

"Here's hoping it isn't going to be a repeat of Labour's disastrous handling of the workforce crisis where, seven years, 40 reports and a plethora of committees and taskforces later, there's little to show.

"I am concerned that this review will be all puffery, no action and purely designed to get votes in 2008.

"The reality is that with the massive increase in registration and evaluation fees for new medicines, a hostile working environment for pharmaceutical companies which has seen ten major players downsize or exit in the past decade, and the increasing political uncertainty over the proposed joint trans-Tasman therapeutics agency, there is great reluctance to bring new medicines into New Zealand.

“Why would pharmaceutical companies bother to go through all this grief and financial uncertainty?

“That means the gap between New Zealand and Australia with regard to medicines access will continue to widen and Kiwis will miss out.”


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