Kevin Piper, a New Zealander says that he was forced to take dramatic action in order to ensure that his insulin dependent diabetic wife received her medications. He says the local DHB began trying to get his wife's anti-nausea drug only after he refused to take her from the hospital unless provided with the drug.
Joanne Piper says that the said drug is the only one, which controls her nausea. The Hawke's Bay hospital refused to provide enough of the drug so that Joanne could continue recovering at home. "So what you're telling me is you want to send my wife home without the drugs that she needs, so she will most probably die so you can put someone else in her bed and do the same thing to them? I said - its not going to happen!," says Kevin. The Hawke's Bay clinical director David Grayson said that the medication demanded by the Pipers is only used in hospital setting. The story made the front pages Friday and the hospital agreed to apply to Pharmac the same day. This means that the Pipers' will not have to foot the bill, "Those concerns weren't really raised adequately with staff so that they could address those concerns," Grayson says. On its part, Pharmac has said that the drug, ondansetron, is available to outpatients in exceptional circumstances only. They will examine Joanne's condition before deciding. The hospital says that Joanne could try other drugs. "Nothing else has worked...I've tried a lot of other things as well and they haven't worked," she says.