Fund adrenaline auto-injectors in New Zealand
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We are campaigning for adrenaline auto-injectors to be government funded and the organisation we are appealing to is pharmac.
Presently, Adrenaline auto-injectors are not funded in New Zealand, even though they are required for those with anaphylaxis to live a life free of fear from potential death. They are not cheap either, costing $120 for one which lasts at most 12 months. This is not a guarantee however and they can often last less than that. People who have allergies, including possibly fatal ones are on the rise in New Zealand, according to an article by allergyclinic.co.nz.
An alternative that is funded is adrenaline vials. They are much inferior to auto-injectors however. This is due to the fact that they take a lot longer to administer, and require precise measurement of the adrenaline by the operator. Both of these are hard to do for parents, the most likely people to be administering them. The average time taken by parents is over two minutes, just to draw the adrenaline into the syringe, this is not including time to deliver the shot. and the variance in the dose is forty fold (The largest dose had forty times the adrenaline of the smallest dose). This leads to the issue of the administration being too late, a ineffectively small dose, or a potentially fatal overdose of adrenaline.
An auto-injector however, is already pre-loaded with the correct dosage for the patient and eliminates this issue altogether. Additionally, they are built to be easy for anyone to use, thus making it a much safer, easier choice to have on hand. This essentially forces people to buy them, fully at their own cost for their child, including paying GST, making it 15% more expensive. To make this worse, Mylan (one of the manufacturers of auto injectors, the EpiPen) has a complete and utter monopoly in New Zealand.
Funding auto-injectors will relieve pressure on many families around New Zealand, who currently pay hundreds of dollars a year to ensure that their children can live a safe, happy life. For some, they will need to buy them for a lifetime. Funding auto-injectors will potentially lead to tens of thousands of dollars of savings for these people, freeing up money for other necessities.
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