INDEPENDENT NEWS

Essential drugs set to run out over Christmas

Published: Mon 23 Dec 2002 09:33 AM
Miserable Christmas for those needing essential drugs
New Zealand is in the farcical situation of being in the same position as a third world countries as essential everyday drugs run out over Christmas, says National Health Spokesperson Dr Lynda Scott.
“Pharmac’s ‘sole supply’ drugs policy aimed at getting cheaper prices leaves New Zealand with only one supplier of many drugs.
“Over the Christmas period we are likely to run out of the supply of fully subsidised antibiotics, anti-inflamatories and iron liquid because the drugs are unavailable now and at least one of them, Fergon elixir, won’t be available here until April 2003.
“The drugs are Ibuprofen, the only fully subsidised anti-flammatory of its particular strength, a commonly used antibiotic, Synermox and Augmentin, and iron liquid Fergon elixir.
“Under Pharmac’s sole supplier system the manufacturer can’t be changed and we are facing the unbelievable situation of not being able to get much needed pills.
“Those who can’t get Ibuprofen will be in pain or have to buy other medicines. All these drugs are basic medicines used everyday. It is absolutely unacceptable that the Minister of Health has screwed Pharmac’s budget down so tightly that they have to operate in this way.
“The Minister must say what she is going to do to stop this being a miserable Christmas for patients,” says Dr Lynda Scott.

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