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Cheap Diabetes Test Plan Needs More Consultation

Barbara Stewart
Spokesperson for Health
08 March 2012

Cheap Diabetes Test Plan Needs More Consultation – NZ First

New Zealand First has called on Pharmac to extend the consultation period over its plan to fund a sole Korean supplier of diabetes test strips from 1st June 2012.

Health spokesperson Barbara Stewart says there is widespread concern at Pharmac’s proposal amongst patients, doctors and other health workers associated with diabetes.

“The strips are a life saving device and no decisions on supply should be made without extensive and thorough consultation with the patients, their doctors and the health workers who help diabetics.

“Pharmac started funding test meters in 2005 and by 2009 was funding four meters which gave diabetics a choice. However last August it started moving to a sole supply position to save $10 million per year.

“Consultation was announced on 23 February closing on 14 March. This is not enough time to allow in-depth examination of an issue of such importance to diabetics.

“Thousands of diabetics can lead normal lives and hold down jobs because they can monitor blood sugar levels.

“It will cost the country a lot more if these testing strips don’t work properly.

“There are reports the strips will not work well in low temperatures and this means that using a sole supplier is not a safe option.

“Lives depend on getting this right.

“Given the importance of the decision, Pharmac must follow through with its offer made at the public meeting in Auckland on Monday night to extend the consultation period,” says Mrs Stewart.


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