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Govt should listen to diabetics’ concerns

23 March 2012

Govt should listen to diabetics’ concerns

The government’s proposed changes for funding of glucose meters and strips for diabetes care is ill-advised and not in the best interests of patients, according to Democrats for Social Credit health spokesman, David Tranter.

“Given the long-standing provision of these materials and associated support services by the Roche Company, the DSC believes that this is another case of ‘if it’s not broken don’t fix it’.

“If the changes go ahead then from 1 December this year Accu-Chek test strips will no longer be funded for approximately 120,000 users causing disruption for both the users and their health professionals - and apparently for no other reason than that government wishes to change to another supplier without providing convincing evidence for such a change.

This will also affect the use of the Accu-Chek Combo insulin pump system as the test strips are an integral part of the system meaning that diabetics will have to change to another system from a different supplier” Mr. Tranter said.

“While the DSC endorses much of Pharmac’s endeavours to provide effective medications at the best available price - and increasingly in the face of the worst efforts of the TPPA overseas negotiators – the DSC urges government in this instance, to take account of such views as that of the Medical Director of the New Zealand Society for the Study of Diabetes, Paul Drury, whose comments include that patients would have to throw away a piece of equipment they are familiar with and learn how to use another, less proven and possibly harder-to-use, product.

“It is time that governments stopped meddling against the views of the real experts in health, the professionals who understand the full implications of unnecessary changes in care” Mr. Tranter concluded.

ENDS

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