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Patients to benefit from more medicines funding

Hon Tony Ryall
Minister of Health
19 May 2011

Patients to benefit from more medicines funding

Budget 2011 is delivering the final part of the Government's election commitment to increase the pharmaceuticals budget by $180 million over three years, Health Minister Tony Ryall says.

This year's $20 million increase means that spending on medicines has increased over previous levels by $40 million in the 2009 Budget, $60 million in 2010, and $80 million in this Budget. The $20 million this year is included in the funding increase DHBs are receiving.

This means that despite difficult economic conditions, the Government has invested $180 million extra on subsidised medicines over three years.

It is estimated that at least 32,000 additional patients will benefit from better access to subsidised medicines as a result of this Budget announcement.

Over the term of this Government, an estimated average 180,000 extra people each year have benefited from the increased medicines funding.

“Some of the new medicines that have not been subsidised previously include new cancer treatments, the first Alzheimer's disease drug, and diabetes medicines,” Mr Ryall says.

“The medicines more people are getting include several for depression, auto-immune diseases, Crohn's disease, cardiac and respiratory problems.

“People have previously had to pay the full cost price or go without – but now they are part of the schedule of medicines subsidised by the Government.”


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