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NZ drug-buying agency Pharmac rejects subsidy bid for tampons, pads


Pharmac has kicked out an application to subsidise women's sanitary products.

Despite the problems being faced by some New Zealanders, lowering the price on tampons and pads isn't on the government's radar. Source: Seven Sharp

The Government funded drug buying agency has said no to the application from a private citizen to reduce the cost of tampons and sanitary pads.

"After full consideration, our view is that this application does not fall within Pharmac's scope because it does not show a link to therapeutic benefits related to a health need," Pharmac's director of operations Sarah Fitt said in a statement.

"Pharmac remains open to considering any future applications for sanitary products where there is evidence of specific health needs."

In February, Ms Fitt said Pharmac had received an application asking it to help with the costs of pads and tampons.

There are girls here in NZ that charities say are missing school because they can’t afford products they need. Source: Seven Sharp

She said it was investigating whether the products fell within its sphere of what it is allowed to fund.

"Pharmac's role is to obtain the best health outcomes possible from pharmaceuticals, from the funding available," she said.

"This includes an assessment of evidence to determine the therapeutic benefits of the product under assessment."

Also in February TVNZ 1's Seven Sharp reported how some young women have been kept home from school during their period as their parents couldn't afford sanitary products.

Others have been forced to use rags and newspaper.

Darryl Evans of Mangere Budgeting Services has previously told 1 NEWS that he frequently saw families who struggled with the cost of supplying pads and tampons for women and girls.