News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Where Does Budget Leave Innovative Medicines?

Media Release
For Immediate Release
Where Does Budget Leave Innovative Medicines?

On Tuesday the Australian Government committed AU$691 million Dollars ($832 million NZ) over 5 years for new pharmaceutical investments - a forecast growth of 4.9%. In today’s New Zealand budget the pharmaceutical spend was not even mentioned, with the PHARMAC line item noticeably absent. It is disappointing that such a significant line item is not specified in the budget.

In last year’s budget PHARMAC estimated savings of $110 million as result of patent expiry. It was disappointing that these savings were not reinvested to fund innovative medicines and vaccines but a large portion went back into the general Vote Health pool. In effect the medicines budget shrank by $30 million last year.

The pharmaceuticals (PHARMAC) funding not being specified in the Vote Health budget raises the question, “has last year’s approach of not reinvesting savings in innovative medicines been repeated?” New Zealand patients are left wondering how long they will be waiting for the best medicines to effectively treat their illnesses.

“Any further drop in pharmaceuticals funding would only create longer delays for patients in accessing medicines - already an average of 3.6 years.” Medicines New Zealand, General Manager, Kevin Sheehy says.

New Zealand spends only 9.4% of its health expenditure on medicines compared to an average of 16% across the OECD and New Zealand ranks 31st out of 32 countries in the amount spent on pharmaceuticals as a share of GDP.

New Zealander’s are worse off than Australians with regard to access to new medicines. In June 2012 there were 94 more new medicines funded in Australia than New Zealand, a trend that has been present for at least the last ten years and will need better investment to be reversed.

“Innovative treatments often provide improved ways of treating medical conditions. We believe that New Zealanders expect and deserve the best possible standard of medical care, comparable to other developed countries.” Medicines New Zealand, Chair, Heather Roy says.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

Legendary Bassist David Friesen Plays Wellington’s Newest Jazz Venue

Friesen is touring New Zealand to promote his latest album Another Time, Another Place, recorded live at Auckland's Creative Jazz Club in 2015. More>>

Howard Davis Review: The Father - Descending Into The Depths of Dementia

Florian Zeller's dazzling drama The Father explores the effects of a deeply unsettling illness that affects 62,000 Kiwis, a number expected to grow to 102,000 by 2030. More>>

Howard Davis Review: Blade Runner Redivivus

When Ridley Scott's innovative, neo-noir, sci-fi flick Blade Runner was originally released in 1982, at a cost of over $45 million, it was a commercial bomb. More>>

14-21 October: New Zealand Improv Festival In Wellington

Imagined curses, Shibuya’s traffic, the apocalypse, and motherhood have little in common, but all these and more serve as inspiration for the eclectic improvised offerings coming to BATS Theatre this October for the annual New Zealand Improv Festival. More>>


Bird Of The Year Off To A Flying Start

The competition asks New Zealanders to vote for their favourite bird in the hopes of raising awareness of the threats they face. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books:
Jenny Abrahamson's John & Charles Enys: Castle Hill Runholders, 1864-1891

This volume will be of interest to a range of readers interested in the South Island high country, New Zealand’s natural environment, and the history of science. More>>