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February 26, 2017 | by  | in News |
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Pads and tampons might soon get cheaper

Pharmac is considering a proposal to subsidise sanitary products to alleviate financial and physical pressure on those who use them.

Pharmac have not yet released their decision, as they are currently seeking advice on whether sanitary items are considered as “medicine” or “medical / therapeutic devices” in order to approve subsidiaries.

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman has not yet commented on the issue.

Those in favour of the subsidies argue that as menstrual cycles are biological, sanitary items should be considered “medical devices.” They believe it would ease the burden for those who cannot afford sanitary products.

The idea has been criticised by those advocating for more environmentally friendly options, like mooncups, to be included.

VUWSA President Rory Lenihan-Ikin has stated that the move would be “the right thing to do.”

A co-President of the Victoria University Feminist Organisation said that the subsidies should be a “no brainer” as “people with vaginas… have no choice” to menstruate. Those “living in poverty are less likely to have access to sanitary products due to cost” and should be helped by the government.

They also believe that this is an issue of “body politics” and questioned whether “we would be having this conversation” if menstruation was a male natural bodily function.

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