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Less money spread more thinly

29 November 2007

RMI Press Release - Less money spread more thinly

"While welcoming the 11.8% increase in subsidised prescriptions heralded in PHARMAC's annual review the big picture is not so rosy" says the RMI's chairman, Dr Pippa MacKay.

"Over the past ten years the Government's investment in publicly funded medicines as expressed as a percentage of total public health spending has fallen markedly from 10.3% to 6%. Furthermore, after adjusting for inflation we are spending less today on medicines than we did ten years ago" said Dr MacKay.

"This is in spite of an ageing and increasing population, innovative and technological advances and improved access" she noted.

"I can think of no other component of the health sector where spending has decreased in the past ten years. We are drawn to the conclusion that less money is being spread more thinly" she said.

"The RMI looks forward to the PHARMAC Forum with stakeholders on Monday 3rd December and also the release of the Government's paper Towards a New Zealand Medicines Strategy which is due within the next few weeks.

"Access to innovative medicines is a major problem confronting New Zealanders and we look forward to some positive steps being taken by Government to rectify the situation" Dr Pippa MacKay concluded.

ENDS

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