Taxpayers' Union welcomes policy to target prescription fees, warns against undermining Pharmac’s independence
Responding to the National Party’s announcement of plans to fund 13 cancer treatments through the reintroduction of the $5 prescription fee, Taxpayers’ Union Campaigns Manager, Callum Purves, said:
“Scrapping the $5 prescription fee saw taxpayers subsidising the well-off, and we welcome this move by the National Party to limit free prescriptions to those in genuine need.
“Rather than giving handouts to those who don’t need them, funnelling this money back into Pharmac’s main budget will allow greater funding for essential medical treatments. This is a much more efficient way to target support towards vulnerable Kiwis.
“However, Pharmac must be free from political interference. Ring-fencing these funds specifically for cancer treatments limits Pharmac’s ability to decide how best to fund effective treatments.
“Medical experts should be the ones making decisions on what treatments will maximise New Zealanders’ Quality-Adjusted Life Years within their given budget, not any political party.”