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New PHARMAC website designed to meet users’ needs

Media release

New PHARMAC website designed to meet users’ needs

A re-designed PHARMAC website is aimed at helping people better understand the Government drug-funding agency’s work, says Corporate Manager Peter Alsop.

The new site, released today, has a completely revised structure from the previous www.pharmac.govt.nz.

The redesigned site aims to give people better access to information about medicines funding, says Peter Alsop. The Government’s medicine strategy, Medicines New Zealand, expects improved public access to information about the medicines system, and PHARMAC’s new website will contribute to achieving that goal.

“As people would expect, we went right back to basics and asked our stakeholders what they wanted from our website,” says Peter Alsop. “This input, combined with road-testing the site with stakeholders before this launch, will hopefully mean we’re providing an easy to use and easily navigated PHARMAC website.”

The PHARMAC site is widely used with one of its web pages being accessed about once every three minutes. Between 25,000 and 30,000 pages are accessed each day in a typical week.

It is most frequently used by health professionals to access information on medicine subsidies, and to download Special Authority forms. The new site will continue to provide a full version of the Pharmaceutical Schedule – the list of funded medicines –online.

Other commonly-used features of the website are to access PHARMAC’s consultation documents and media releases.

A new feature of the website is an interactive flow chart illustrating PHARMAC’s funding process. This is designed to help people better understand and navigate through the medicines funding process.

Features of the new site include:

- Dedicated sections for consumers & patients, health professionals, the pharmaceutical industry and District Health Boards

- Improved structure to aid navigation

- An interactive flow chart to help people navigate through the funding process

- Clearer explanation of PTAC’s role (PHARMAC’s clinical advisory committee)

- An improved search engine to help people find documents

- Links to more information on medicine interactions and side effects

- Links to subsites for other PHARMAC activities, such as One Heart Many Lives and Wise Use of Antibiotics.

Peter Alsop says that while an improved website is a good forward step, it is only one part of the mix of activities that PHARMAC is committed to so it can further improve its communications and stakeholder engagement activity.

ENDS

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