Kiwis hit hard by prescription fee hike
14 February 2013
Kiwis hit hard by prescription
The recent hike in
prescription charges is having dreadful and possibly
life-threatening consequences, Labour’s Health
spokesperson Maryan Street says.
warned Tony Ryall about the changes in the pharmacy contract
and the increase in charges, saying that ‘It blatantly
threatens patient safety’.
“With the move to $5 an
item, increasing numbers of people are not picking up their
scripts, or are being forced to choose between which
medications they can afford to pick up.
“On top of the
prescription fee hike pharmacists are now also having to
charge when dispensing meds in daily-dose blister packs,
thus further increasing the cost.
“In one case an
elderly Christchurch man, who has to take 10 medicines
daily, is having to pay an extra $6 every week – over and
above his $5 per item prescription fee - for his blister
“He’s ‘lucky’. When his wife rang around
other pharmacies in her area, she found the cost to make up
the packs varied, from between $5 and $10.
packs give many elderly people and their families the
confidence that the right medication is being taken at the
right time. If people cannot afford to pay extra for them,
they risk over-medicating or under-medicating by
“Tony Ryall cannot play games with people’s
lives like this. Making savings is one thing; threatening
people’s lives is quite
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