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Medicines in New Zealand are overlooked and underfunded

Medicines in New Zealand are overlooked and underfunded.

4 May 2017

Medicines New Zealand today released their latest Annual Report, The New Zealand Medicines Landscape 2016. It reveals patients in New Zealand are at the end of the queue for cost-effective, innovative medicines compared with other countries.

An informational document- “The New Zealand Medicines Landscape 2016” highlights studies done in New Zealand and Australia showing the beneficial effects of medicines not only on patients but also on delivering cost-savings to the wider healthcare system.

“New Zealand currently spends $60 on healthcare per person every week and only $3.50 of that spend is on medicines. The Landscape document shows how medicines can be a cost-effective health intervention” says Heather Roy, Chair of Medicines New Zealand.

“The Landscape document outlines how medicines are an important tool that have been shown to reduce hospital expenditure, but also enhances patient lives and health outcomes,“ says Dr Graeme Jarvis General Manager of Medicines New Zealand.

The Landscape document also addresses specific issues around the medicines waiting list. The waiting list consists of medicines that have been recommended for government funding by PHARMAC’s expert panel of healthcare specialists.

“Judging by the presence of a large number of medicines on the waiting list and the evidence that medicines do in fact save the health system money, clearly the level of investment needs to be improved,” says Mrs Roy.

The Medicine Landscape 2016 is available online at


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