Second inquiry into Pharmac vetoed by Labour

The Government has once again stopped the Health Select Committee from initiating an inquiry into Pharmac, despite widespread consensus during the campaign that such an inquiry is needed, National’s Health spokesperson Dr Shane Reti says.

“Today was the first opportunity for the Health Select Committee to meet and immediately start working on urgent health issues in a collaborative manner. In keeping with our promise during the campaign National moved for an inquiry into unfunded medicines in New Zealand and Pharmac, the exact same motion we moved in April last year.

“But once again, Labour voted against the motion, despite Jacinda Ardern’s agreement that an inquiry was needed during the campaign trail.

“It’s now starting to look as though Labour only agreed with an inquiry when it was politically palatable in the midst of an election campaign.

“National has expressed strong support for an inquiry for more than a year now, but we have been blocked at every turn by Labour.

“With Parliament rising for the year next week it is unlikely significant progress will be made for another two months which quite simply shows no urgency by the Labour Government on this matter.

“This is a slap in the face, not only to the many thousands of New Zealanders who have been calling for the same thing, but particularly to those who marched with Crohn’s and Colitis NZ, calling on Pharmac to fund a medication to help those suffering with the diseases.

“This is now yet another broken promise by Labour to New Zealanders to be added to the ever increasing pile.

“The Government must explain to New Zealanders why it agreed with an inquiry before the election, but now has no interest in it.”