Saturday, August 23, 2008

Condoms - Do you want Strawberry or extra large?

Pharmac this week announced that condom subsidies would now include strawberry, vanilla, chocolate and banana condoms, as well as large, extra large, ribbed and supersensitive varieties.

In defending the move Pharmac announced that the overall cost of funding the 9million presubscribed condoms would drop by 10%.

Of course the conservative Family First group was mortified by this move and demanded public executions and spouted their usual nonsense about Pharmac funding pleasure, etc.

"It is tragic and a national disgrace that at a time when Pharmac can't find funding for sufferers of breast cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure and other serious problems, that they can find funding to subsidise flavoured condoms," says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First.

"This is not a health and safety issue. It's not about preventing unwanted pregnancies or sexually transmitted diseases. This is simply about funding sexual behaviour that shouldn't be at the cost of the taxpayer or other more life-threatening medication."

It is a typical anti sex nonsense from Family First where sex must be confined to a marriage. Bob of course lives a dream world if he thinks this ever will occur. So the reality is people have sex and will continue to have sex with different people. The more of those people who have sex with condoms the lower the risk of transmission of STDs and HIV transmission amongst the sexually active population.

And if condoms are not used because they are too expensive or not available in the right size or because guys don't like wearing them then there will be a serious increase in STDs and HIV infection which will in the long prove to cost a lot more than the $1m a year.

The other bit Bob missed was that Pharmac actually was reducing the overall spend but offering a wider variety of condoms which are already funded. Personally I thought Pharmac had achieved a miracle by doing this and should be congratulated for reducing costs and thus providing more funds for other drugs.

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