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How long will Eltroxin sufferers have to wait?

11 September 2008

How long will Eltroxin sufferers have to wait?

The Green Party is calling on Medsafe to tell the hundreds of New Zealanders suffering adverse reactions to the new formulation of thyroid drug Eltroxin when an alternative drug will be available.

"Just yesterday, in response to my question in Parliament, associate Health Minister Jim Anderton said 'within a matter of weeks an alternative to Eltroxin will be on the market'," Green Party Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley says.

"Yet today, the promised announcement from Medsafe did not contain any deadline or even timeline for when this serious problem would be sorted out.

"After 11 months, it is a serious concern that the Government think they can fob off the hundreds of people who are experiencing major reactions to this drug with the information that a single application from an alternative supplier has been received.

"What does this news tell us? That it has taken nearly a year for Medsafe to begin to address this issue. At least 800 people around New Zealand are suffering debilitating reactions to this drug, but Medsafe thinks it sufficient to 'announce' that one lone application has arrived in their in-tray.

"The Green Party continues to call on Medsafe to use its powers under the Medicines Act to fast-track a safe alternative thyroid drug.

"The present situation, where hundreds of New Zealanders are being forced to continue taking this medicine despite the significant range of adverse reactions experienced since the formulation changed - some of them debilitating - is untenable and indeed cruel," Green Party MP Sue Kedgley says.


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