22 Dec 2008

We know best, say dermatologists

4:17 pm on 22 December 2008

Dermatologists have come out against Pharmac's decision to widen prescribing rights for two acne medicines.

At present, one of the drugs, Isotretinoin, can be prescribed by a GP but is not subsidised. The other, Acitretin, can be prescribed only by a dermatologist.

From March, however, GPs and nurses will be able to offer both to patients at a subsidised rate.

The president of the New Zealand Dermatological Society, Elizabeth Baird, says these are strong drugs and dermatologists are the best qualified to treat skin diseases.

Dr Baird says both drugs can cause heart, bone and brain conditions in unborn babies.