“It appears that everyone wants a dedicated Medicines Strategy apart from Andrew Little, who is too focussed on slicing up the health system based on race instead of need,” says ACT’s Health spokesperson Brooke van Velden.

“Pharmac's Chief Executive and Board Chair told the Health Select Committee today that Pharmac would welcome a dedicated Medicines Strategy, following questioning from ACT. This comes after the independent review of Pharmac that was released last week stated not having a Medicines Strategy was a "crucial omission" from the Health reforms.

“It is simply not possible to truly reform the healthcare system without considering the role medicines play in the lives of New Zealanders. ACT put forward an amendment to the Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Bill that would have done this but the Government voted it down.

“Labour wants to focus on ideological restructures and divvying up the health system based on race rather than addressing the core needs of New Zealanders.

“They need to realise that for many New Zealanders, funding for pharmaceuticals is life or death, or the difference between a life of pain and suffering or living freely. The Minister is doing Kiwis a disservice by refusing to develop a much-needed Medicine Strategy.”

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