Annabel Young – a lobbyist with form

Increased prescription charges? No thanks! But here’s Annabel Young, Chief Executive of the Pharmacy Guild advocating increasing them.

And Young is a lobbyist with form.  She was a National Party MP between 1997 and 2002, so she’s well connected with many current National Ministers.  Her father Bill was a National Party Cabinet Minister, and her sister Nicola was a National Party candidate in 2005. Between 2005 and 2008 Annabel Young was Chief Executive of Federated Farmers. Before that she was Tax Director at the Institute of Chartered Accountants, and in that role convinced Inland Revenue to allow farmers’ past tax deductions to stand when they had converted part of their farm for a different operation and faced large backdated tax bills for items previously deducted. That dubious achievement no doubt helped get her the job as boss of the Feds.

So when Health Minister Tony Ryall says the Government is “not currently looking at increasing the co-payment for subsidised medicines”, you can see why I’m not totally convinced.  Maybe that’s one policy the Government won’t be looking at until after the election.

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5 thoughts on “Annabel Young – a lobbyist with form

  1. Um, maybe because some people cannot afford them so won’t pick up their prescription and will end up being hospitalised at much greater expense than the prescription subsidy.

  2. Currently we have middle class capture of medicines funding.

    The Guild assumes that targetting of subsidies frees up money for other uses, preferably within the medicines budget but otherwise in the wider health budget.

    Are you open to thinking about the subsidies being targetted at people with lower incomes?

    As far as I am aware, targetting of subsidies for medicines and pharmacy services is not on any political party’s agenda.

    You are overstating my level of influence with the government (I’m flattered) but thanks for using a great photo!

  3. @Annabel Young 8:46 am

    The problem with targeting is that if it is done on a simple basis, such as family income, there will be people whose individual circumstances result in them falling through the cracks and being unable to afford pharmaceuticals. That’s likely to result in increased hospitalisations from people leaving conditions untreated. And if targeting were done on a more sophisticated basis that takes into account more individual family circumstances it would require a whole new bureaucracy in either the Ministry of Health or Ministry of Social Development to do the necessary assessments.

    Also, Annabel, I would have thought that a targeting regime would result in increased compliance costs for your members who would have to administer it.

  4. A useful starting pioint is to understand that community pharmacists work with the people who can’t afford the $3 co-payment yp to a maximum of $60 per family or individual) right now. It shouldn’t be assumed that the current system has no cracks for patients to fall through.

    Why not subsidise some poeple less so that you can subsidise some people more?

    Yes, compliance costs are an issue and we would want the system to be simple but my members are passionate about making sure that patients get their medicines and take them.

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