NEW CALEDONIA PHARMACIES PROTEST LOWER DRUG PRICES

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Mandated prices part of effort to cut health costs

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 5, 2012) – Most New Caledonian pharmacies have stayed closed for a day in a protest against the government’s decision to lower the price of drugs by nine percent.

The action comes amid a wider dispute over the territory’s health care policies as professionals have had their fees frozen.

The doctors association has said to get revenue the government should use a sugar tax.

A government spokesperson has told local television that there is no plan to rescind the measures.

She says a key problem is that some pharmacists have huge loans.

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