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Pharmac pre-empts public consultation

Dr Jackie Blue
National party Associate Health Spokeswoman

19 December 2006

Pharmac pre-empts public consultation

Pharmac’s preliminary conclusion that all is well with how it funds high-cost medicines is pre-empting the results of public consultation, says National’s Associate Health spokeswoman, Dr Jackie Blue.

“I don’t really hold any hope that anything will change.

“Herceptin is a classic example of why we do need to look at how high-cost drugs are funded.

“Pharmac has hidden behind its own ‘in-house’ analysis, by continuing to insist there is insufficient data to fund the breast cancer drug.

“Obviously, the 22 OECD countries that do fund Herceptin disagree. Pharmac is undoubtedly out of step.

“For Herceptin to be funded in New Zealand all 21 DHBs have to agree to fund it, and with their meagre budgets there’s no hope of that happening.

“Clearly, the way high-cost drugs are funded is being mismanaged. It’s just not working.

“There needs to be independent analysis of these drugs away from Pharmac.

“New Zealanders will miss out on lifesaving medicines if Pharmac is left to continue down the same road.

“Changes need to be made immediately.”


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