Taxpayers fund vanilla condoms

The Dominion Post 21 August 2008

Flavoured  condoms will be subsidised by taxpayers to encourage safe sex and reduce the risk of disease and unplanned pregnancies. The flavours – including strawberry, vanilla, chocolate and banana – became available this month after government drug-funding agency Pharmac reviewed its range of subsidised condoms and identified a need for wider choice. It already spends about $1million a year subsidising more than nine million condoms, and the range will now be extended to include large, extra large, ribbed and super-sensitive varieties.

Pharmac defends funding of flavoured condoms
NZ Herald August 21, 2008
Taxpayer funding of a wider range of condoms, including flavoured and ribbed varieties, saves money, increases choice and promotes better sexual health practices, says Pharmac. …The condom move has been announced just weeks after Pharmac turned down funding for 12-month courses of the breast cancer drug Herceptin. But Pharmac says offering variety is a win-win option in the battle against New Zealand’s high rates of unplanned pregnancies, terminations and sexually transmitted diseases.

…Conservative lobby group Family First has labelled the subsidised flavoured condoms as “morally bankrupt and an insult to people with breast cancer, high blood pressure and heart disease”. It called for the Government to reverse this spending decision. National director Bob McCoskrie said it was “tragic and a national disgrace”. “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,” he said. “This is simply about funding sexual behaviour that shouldn’t be at the cost of the taxpayer or other more life-threatening medication. Is Pharmac going to consider subsidising sex toys next?” He cited a number of people missing out on funding for drugs. “Yet Pharmac can find funding for strawberry flavoured condoms.”

PHARMAC defends funding of flavoured condoms TV3 News (includes video)