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Medicines Strategy disappointing

Dr Jackie Blue
National Party Associate Health Spokeswoman

13 December 2006

Medicines Strategy disappointing

Labour's Medicines Strategy has failed to address access to medicines issues being faced by New Zealanders, says National's Associate Health spokeswoman, Dr Jackie Blue.

Dr Blue is commenting on the release of the 'Towards a New Zealand Medicines Strategy'.

"This document proposes no solutions on how to improve the range of medicines available. It provides no solutions on how to improve coordination between GPs and hospitals, or how to reverse the decline in pharmaceutical research in New Zealand.

"There is no new thinking on setting funding priorities for highly effective new medicines.

"The 80-page document, which took eight months to produce, is a complete disappointment. There are no new models or new ways of working to consider, and it really just leaves the reader with 26 questions to ponder.

"It is largely a description of the current system and issues, which stakeholders are already acutely aware of.

"Because this review was a major election platform in 2005, I had hoped Mr Dunne had a good grasp of the issues; he clearly doesn't.

"What's depressing is that after months and months of consultation, he still believes New Zealand has good systems, and says he doesn't want to disrupt systems that are working well.

"That sort of flawed thinking will inevitably undermine the final strategy.

"During this process, taxpayers were denied a voice to express their view. I really hope the public now come forward and give him a very loud and clear message."


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