NZ FirstThursday 08 March 2012, 4:40PM
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
"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.
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