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April 2002 issue Pharmacy Today magazine


Conspiracy theories and confused government spending priorities were thrown up at a recent pharmaceutical industry conference.

Boehringer Ingelheim New Zealand general manager Darcy Downey questioned the government's level of spending on pharmaceuticals suggesting the tight subsidised medicines budget may be a tactic, "by stealth," towards moving more and more New Zealanders to fund their own medication.

He also floated the idea that the government's crying poor over health spending is at odds with its funding of the fledgling Kiwi Bank, Air New Zealand and Maori television.

Darcy Downey, Pharmac chief executive Wayne McNee, and Apotex New Zealand's managing director Colin Robertson took part in a panel discussion on the first day of the New Zealand Pharmaceutical Marketing and Distribution Congress in Auckland.

Colin Robertson also suggested there is no real shortage of money for health but that the current environment is a result of political shortsightedness.

Wayne McNee said he doubts Treasury will increase the 2.5%-3% pharmaceutical budget increases, but said, "more would be attractive."

Boehringer Ingelheim New Zealand general manager Darcy Downey, Pharmac chief executive Wayne McNee and Apotex New Zealand managing director Colin Robertson.



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