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26 October 2001 News Update


The Arthritis Foundation's unique appeal to send a message in a pill bottle to the government over drug funding has sparked the imagination of New Zealanders.

The messages hail from Kaitaia to the Bluff, and come from pensioners, company directors, teenagers and schoolteachers - all with the same message of "help ease the pain".

The campaign has stirred the pot of discontent over the lack of subsidies for new generation arthritis drugs according to the foundation's Alasdair Finnie.

Some of the messages are blunt and to the point, while others raise real concerns, such as the message from an 82-year-old widow living alone who says her drugs, needed daily, cost $67.50 per month. When she wakes up each morning she has to ask herself if it will be a pill or a meal that day.

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