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May 1, 2017 | by  | in News |
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Pharmac to not subsidise sanitary items

Pharmac has rejected an application received in 2016 requesting subsidies to tampons and pads.

Legally, the agency can only fund medicines, medical devices, or products which provide “therapeutic benefits relating to a health need.”

Pharmac concluded that “sanitary products are not medicines or medical devices,” and that the application “did not provide sufficient information” to show sanitary products helped address a health need.

Pharmac’s Director of Operations Sarah Fitt called menstruation a “normal bodily function,” which is why it did not fall within the scope of funding.

Other items currently subsidised by Pharmac include flavoured condoms, vitamin tablets, and sunscreen.

Salvation Army’s head of social services, Pam Waugh, was disappointed by the decision, describing it as “a wasted opportunity” for Pharmac. She expressed concern for women who could contract serious infections due to the inaccessibility of suitable sanitary products.

Pharmac said it remained open to considering future applications targeting groups of women with specific health needs, including “certain menstrual conditions.”

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