Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Pharmac review glosses over concerns

Dr Paul Hutchison
National Party Associate Health Spokesman

10 November 2004

Pharmac review glosses over concerns

Pharmac's Annual Review, released today, glosses over significant concerns of the past year, says National's Associate Health spokesman, Dr Paul Hutchison.

"The review might boast availability of some new drugs but, when it comes to choice, New Zealand's is not as good as Australia's."

Dr Hutchison says Pharmac has served New Zealand very well in terms of keeping costs down, but the annual review ignores a number of bad news stories.

* Tens of thousands of patients were forced to change their cholesterol-lowering medication and no safety monitoring provisions were made for the switch. Pharmac and the Health Ministry could be accused of negligence for that failure!

* Some terminally ill cancer patients were unable to access a morphine sulphate pain relief agent.

* Many drugs, such as the common anti-gout drug Allopurinol, have simply not been available. Pharmac's sole supply policies are partly to blame.

* Pfizer Pharmaceuticals withdrew a grant of $65 million to New Zealand researchers. Pfizer said it was because it could no longer have a sensible dialogue with Pharmac or the Government.

* The pharmaceutical budget's expenditure was downgraded from $566 million to $541 million in the past financial year due to the delayed introduction of low drug co-payments from 1 October 2003 to 1 August 2004. The $25 million not spent could have funded the breast cancer drugs Pharmac says it has no money for.

Dr Hutchison says National wants a full review of the agency because beneath the gloss there are some deep concerns.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Politics Of Why We’re Not Getting An Inquiry Into The White Island Disaster

The Ardern government has made an art form out of reviews and inquiries- when to hold them, when to fold them, and when to shelve the findings, virtually untouched. Among other things, the WorkSafe criminal proceedings into the Whakaari /White Island disaster look like the outcome of a conscious political strategy. The government is choosing this route instead holding a proper inquiry, because it can conveniently narrow the focus only to (a) the events prior to the eruption and (b) solely to possible violations of our labour laws... More>>


UN SDG: A Greener, Cleaner, Brighter Future

'The world has a high fever and is burning up. Climate disruption is daily news – from devastating wildfires to record floods. The damage to people and the environment is immense and growing.' - UN Secretary-General António Guterres ... More>>


Carbon Neutral Policy: Gov Declares Climate Emergency

The Government has launched a major new initiative to combat climate change that will require the public sector to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025. More>>


Pill Testing: Govt Moves On Drug Checking To Keep Young New Zealanders Safer This Summer

The Government will pass time limited legislation to give legal certainty to drug checking services, so they can carry out their work to keep New Zealanders safer this summer at festivals without fear of prosecution, Health Minister Andrew Little ... More>>


Tax: Government Fulfils Election Undertaking On New Top Tax Rate

The Government will today keep its election promise to put in place a new top tax rate of 39 per cent on income earned over $180,000. More>>


Media: Stuff Holds Itself Accountable For Wrongs To Māori

Stuff has today published the results of an investigation into itself, and issued a public apology, for the way the media organisation has portrayed Māori, the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand, from its first editions to now. Tā Mātou Pono | More>>


Economy: Crown Accounts Reflect Govt’s Careful Economic Management

The better-than-expected Crown accounts released today show the Government’s careful management of the COVID-19 health crisis was the right approach to support the economy. As expected, the Crown accounts for the year to June 2020 show the operating balance ... More>>





InfoPages News Channels