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NZMA Jumping the Gun

Media release - in response to NZMA release

NZMA Jumping the Gun

PHARMAC is disturbed that the Medical Association is scaremongering and politically point-scoring at the expense of patients with depression.

And what is more disappointing is that the NZMA jumped the gun even before the final decisions have been made.

Their press release seems to have been triggered by a letter from PHARMAC to the NZMA which amongst other things states… " The PHARMAC Board has asked PHARMAC staff to then prepare an implementation plan, including provision for any exemptions from manufacturers surcharges if appropriate"

This makes it clear that PHARMAC is very concerned about patients and is continuing to consult with medical groups. Any implementation will not occur till February 2000. We have already had in depth discussions with the Mental Health Sub-Committee of PTAC, and other mental health professionals. We will ensure that vulnerable patients are protected.

The anti depressant Prozac comes off patent in January and another brand of the drug will be on the market at a price 60% lower. This is good news for the taxpayer and it frees up funds to purchase other drugs.

The NZMA is grandstanding and does not mind upsetting patients to get a headline

Peter Moodie
Medical Director PHARMAC
025 429 212

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