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Adverse drug reactions cost taxpayers quarter of a billion

Revealed: Adverse drug reactions cost taxpayers quarter of a billion

22 AUGUST 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Between 2015/16 and 2017/18, DHBs spent $280 million treating patients due to adverse drug reactions, reveals the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union in its latest briefing paper on health productivity.

Taxpayers’ Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says, “It’s alarming that taxpayers had to spend $280 million in three years for dealing with what are basically botched prescriptions. That’s the equivalent of 10 flag referendums, or $150 in extra tax per household. DHBs need more discipline in setting and meeting targets to ensure drugs are correctly prescribed and patients understand how and when their prescriptions.”

“This problem needs to be addressed not just for the sake of patients, but for taxpayers who are forecast to be absolutely hammered by rising demands on healthcare services.”

“Some DHBs are much worse than others. Canterbury DHB alone spent $60 million treating those with adverse drug reactions across the three year period. Waikato DHB spent nearly $40 million.”

“There needs to be further investigation at Counties-Manakau DHB over treatment related to adverse drug reactions. Their reported rate of treatment and total spend related to adverse drug reactions is an outlier. They’re either geniuses, or are not correctly recording treatment data.”

The information was obtained under the Official Information Act and has been released as part of a serious of briefing papers, linked here.

ENDS


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