Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Democrats outrage at allegations of banned drug being used on Nauru asylum seekers.



Download PDFDownload PDF

DEMOCRATS MEDIA SENATOR ANDREW BARTLETT AUSTRALIAN DEMOCRATS IMMIGRATION SPOKESPERSON DEMOCRATS OUTRAGE AT ALLEGATIONS OF BANNED DRUG BEING USED ON NAURU ASYLUM SEEKERS Australian Democrats Senator Andrew Bartlett has expressed outrage at a report that the banned drug Vioxx has been, and is possibly still being administered to detainees on Nauru. Pamela Curr of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre in Melbourne revealed the discovery when a woman detainee from Nauru was flown into Melbourne for urgent medical care recently. Coinciding with this, last night’s Four Corners program, “Total Recall” reported that the side effects of Vioxx are potentially fatal with an as yet unknown number of fatalities in Australia and tens of thousands in the USA who are already litigating against the maker of the drug. Senator Bartlett has twice visited detained asylum seekers on Nauru, the only Australian politician to do so. "This revelation by Ms Curr raises serious questions of a breach of the Government’s duty of care to asylum seekers," Senator Bartlett said. "Minister Vanstone has repeatedly tried to pretend the detainees on Nauru are not Australia's responsibility, most recently when announcing the new Removal Pending Visa category." "I have met with a number of Nauru politicians and government officials on both my visits to the island, and it is quite clear that they treat the detention centre as Australia's responsibility." "Australian taxpayers continue to fund the totally unnecessary Nauru camp to the tune of millions of dollars, yet Minister Vanstone continues to wash her hands of the massive suffering being caused." “The Minister must provide answers about the Government's knowledge of the continued dispensation of Vioxx, a list of all detainees in Nauru and Australia that this drug has been prescribed to in the last five years, and whether any deaths or serious illnesses of detainees could be attributed to Vioxx." Media inquiries - Senator Bartlett 0418 743 789 05/171

TUESDAY 12 APRIL 2005