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


Promoting competition key for high cost medicines

Media release

Promoting competition key to improving patients’ access to high cost medicines

PHARMAC has announced its intention to test out a contestable fund for high cost medicines for rare disorders, which could be seeking proposals from pharmaceutical companies by the end of 2014.

Promoting competition among suppliers could be the key to improving patients’ access to high cost medicines for rare disorders, says chief executive Steffan Crausaz.

The fund is a response to concerns about access to these medicines that PHARMAC has been hearing from patients through forums and consultations in recent months.

“We’ve listened closely to these views, and thought about them carefully. Our thinking leads us to the view that the core problem is a lack of competition,” says Steffan Crausaz.

“We know competition leads to lower prices, and that’s an area where PHARMAC has an established track record. Our activities in promoting competition enable New Zealand to achieve some of the lowest prices for medicines in the world.”

“We think that by promoting competition among suppliers, prices will reduce and as a result, patients will get funded access to them. Ultimately, that’s what this fund is about.”

“Pharmaceutical suppliers tell us one of their main motivators is providing patients with access to their products. That’s something we certainly want to see, and I hope the industry takes this opportunity to help us find a way to make these medicines more available to patients.”

Steffan Crausaz says the new approach is possible within PHARMAC’s current operating framework, and would still involve PHARMAC seeking to get the best health outcomes for patients from the available funding for pharmaceuticals.

“PHARMAC will continue to look for the best health outcomes for patients, and the best value investments. The approach we intend to use will be consistent with the PHARMAC model and, importantly, will still enable us to continue to fund other new medicines for conditions that aren’t rare.”

PHARMAC has published a discussion paper on its website and is inviting comments from the public and industry on the contestable fund. These comments would help iron out some of the detail of how the fund would operate.

Steffan Crausaz says up to $5 million per year may be available, through funding that has already been budgeted but not likely to be used for the $8 million exceptions policy. Because this funding is already budgeted, it won't limit PHARMAC's ability to fund other treatments for less rare conditions.

Should PHARMAC request commercial proposals by the end of 2014, funding could begin in early 2015. The discussion document can be found on our


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


13/10: 40 Years Since The Māori Land March Arrived At Parliament

Traffic into Wellington came to a standstill as thousands of Māori and Pākehā streamed along the motorway into the capital on 13 October 1975, concluding the Māori land march to parliament. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Before The Quakes

Remembering Christchurch: Voices from decades past: The Christchurch I lived in for my first 23 years was where four-year-olds walked alone to kindergarten, crossing roads empty of all but a couple of cars per hour. My primary school, Ilam, was newly built on a grassy paddock surrounded by rural land... More>>

6-11 October: New Zealand Improvisation Festival Hits Wellington

Wellingtonians will have a wide selection of improv to feast on with a jam packed programme containing 22 shows, three companies from Australia, two companies from Auckland, one from Nelson, one from Christchurch and seven from Wellington. More>>


Bird Of The Year: New Zealanders Asked To Vote For Their Favourite Native Bird

Te Radar, David Farrier, Heather du-Plessis Allan and Duncan Garner are just some of the New Zealanders championing their favourite native bird in Forest & Bird’s annual Bird of the Year competition, which kicks off today.. More>>


Werewolf Film: It Follows - Panic In Detroit

Philip Matthews: When you heard last month that Wes Craven had died and you wanted to pay homage, you could have sat down with any one of five of his films that helped reinvent American horror at least three times over three decades... Or you could just have watched one of the greatest recent horror films that would probably not exist without Craven. More>>


Werewolf Music: Searching For The White Wail - On Art Pepper, etc

If the word ‘hipster’ means anything – which it arguably doesn’t – it seems to be more of an impulse than a condition. One always headed for the margins, and away from the white-bred, white-bread mainstream... More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news