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Gsk Pricing Decision Welcomed

Gsk Pricing Decision Welcomed

PHARMAC has welcomed the decision by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to lower the price of its commonly used asthma inhaler fluticasone (Flixotide). The decision means people will be able to continue using this medicine without having to pay a manufacturer’s surcharge.

PHARMAC reference priced fluticasone to the other inhaled corticosteroid drug listed on the Pharmaceutical Schedule, beclomethasone, on 1 February 2003. GSK had been temporarily discounting stock, effectively lowering the price, but has now announced it will reduce the price of fluticasone to the subsidy level.

“This is a good outcome for patients and taxpayers,” says PHARMAC Chief Executive Wayne McNee.

“The decision to reference price fluticasone is forecast to produce savings in the region of $35 million over five years -- $3 million in the June 2003 financial year alone. These are savings that can be used to purchase additional pharmaceuticals or other health services.”

“I welcome this announcement by GSK and look forward to continuing a positive working relationship with them.”

Fluticasone is an inhaled corticosteroid, the main class of drugs used to prevent the onset of asthma symptoms. It is used by over 100,000 New Zealanders.

PHARMAC is also co-ordinating am asthma management campaign, in conjunction with stakeholders including the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation of New Zealand, New Zealand Guidelines Group and the New Zealand College of Pharmacists, to encourage people to self-manage their asthma, and take the correct dose of their asthma medicine.

The campaign is scheduled to run for nine months.

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