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New drugs dispensing concession will force doctors to gamble against the judgement of a Canberra bureaucrat - Tuckey



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LIBERAL

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WILSON" TUCKEY MI IP

MEMBER FOR O’CONNQIR.

SHADOW MINISTER FOR HE A. L ΤΓ1H I _ ^ ----------- ----- C O M M C N W l AL;!-·:

parliam entary lib r a r y

C.I.S._____ __

NEW DRUGS DISPENSING CONCESSION WILL FORCE DOCTORS TO GAMBLE AGAINST THE JUDGEMENT OF A CANBERRA BUREAUCRAT - TUCKEY

The Shadow Health spokesman, Wilson Tuckey, has severely criticised a decision taken yesterday to modify the Authority Only listing of 53 Pharmaceutical Drugs by allowing doctors to prescribe the drugs at their own risk.

Whilst I welcome any proposal that benefits the general community, it is ridiculous to do so in a fashion that puts an unacceptable condition on other people.

To overcome the disadvantage to patients of significant delays before drugs can receive Government Authority to be dispensed, the Government has now agreed that the drug can be given out immediately but if approval is not granted, the prescribing doctor must pay for the drug personally. ■

It is ridiculous to argue that such a move will make the doctor more responsible. A doctor will naturally only prescribe a drug if he is sure it is necessary, but this arrangement requires the doctor to have a second guess at the attitude of a Canberra

bureaucrat who has no contact whatsoever with his patient. They may as well take out a bookmaker's licence as they are being forced to gamble on human nature.

The Government proposal does resolve the problem for pharmacist and the patient but it shifts the responsibility to the doctor.

The real answer is to abandon this decision entirely. It has not been taken on medical grounds and is purely a cost rationing mechanism. The drugs are not luxury or addictive items, they just happen to be state of the art treatment which cost more as

drug companies must recover their research and development costs. The decision demotes Australia to Third World status.

28 July 1988

For further information, contact Wilson Tuckey on 09 277 3076 Mary Sweeny on 062 77 4081