Pharmac Proposal Puts Patients And Public At Risk
Pharmac Proposal Puts Patients And Public At Risk From Drug Seekers And Users
The Pharmacy Guild says Pharmac’s (the Government’s drug buying agency) plan to return to three month dispensing of prescription medicines will place patients and the wider public at risk from those seeking and using drugs for illicit purposes.
Guild President, Richard Heslop, said the courts had recently jailed a person for using a prescription medicine in the course of assaults on women.
“The list of medicines Pharmac proposes should soon be dispensed in three month lots includes medicines of this type. It’s hard to believe a Government agency could be so insensitive and display so little regard for public safety. They say they have reviewed the list of medicines to be bulk dispensed very carefully, but have they just focused on the cost and ignored the real effects in terms of health outcomes and public safety?”
Mr Heslop said the drugs concerned were very attractive to illicit drug users and those who supplied them, and bulk dispensing of three month supplies would see very large quantities of tablets being taken home by patients.
“We cannot publicly disclose
details of the drugs concerned and police estimates of their
black market or ‘street’ value, but three month quantities
of some of the medicines on the Pharmac list would result in
hundreds of tablets being dispensed ‘in one go.’ While the
cost to the Government of these medicines might be low,
their street value to criminals runs to thousands of
dollars. If very high quantities of medicines are going to
be taken home from pharmacies by patients, especially older
patients, it will greatly increase the risk of drug seekers
taking advantage of large amounts of highly sought after
medicines in homes and shopping bags”, he