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Newly funded iodine only tablet to meet unmet need

( “A new iodine-only tablet (NeuroKare), which will enable pregnant and breastfeeding women to meet their iodine requirements is now available in New Zealand “ says PHARMAC’s medical director Dr Peter Moodie.

Rather than pay over-the-counter for vitamin/mineral supplements, women requiring iodine tablets will have to pay just $3 for a three month supply of NeuroKare. It’s estimated that every year 65,000 women could benefit from this newly-funded tablet.

Dr Moodie notes that NeuroKare (manufactured by Nelson company Alaron) is an iodine-only tablet containing 150 mcg of iodine and meets appropriate quality and safety standards and is subsidised for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Iodine is essential for normal brain development and function, especially during gestation and infancy.The recommended dose is 150mcg a day. Not enough iodine can result in impaired brain function and impaired growth and development in the unborn baby and young infant.

Dr Pat Tuohy, Chief Advisor, Child and Youth Health, at the Ministry of Health says “Pregnant and breastfeeding women have increased iodine requirements and in spite of a good diet and mandatory fortification of bread with iodised salt (introduced late 2009) they remain at risk of inadequate iodine intakes. It is for these reasons that NeuroKare is being made available for these two groups of women either on prescription or over-the-counter at pharmacies,” Dr Tuohy said.

Joint Media Release on 1 July 2010 from Ministry of Health and PHARMAC



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