3.6 million Kiwis benefit from Pharmac's model

  • Jonathan Coleman

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says new data shows that Pharmac is delivering more subsidised medicines, benefiting around 3.6 million Kiwis.

“Pharmac’s model for increasing New Zealander’s access to subsidised medicines and treatments is world class,” says Dr Coleman.

“3.6 million New Zealanders received a subsidised medicine in the last year - an increase of half a million more people since 2008/2009.

“New Zealanders received 45.8 million subsidised prescription items in 2016/17. That’s almost two million more subsidised prescriptions than the previous year, and over 10 million more compared to nine years ago.

“Around 180,000 Kiwis are now benefitting from new and widened access to medicines funded last year.

“Over the last nine years, almost 900,000 New Zealanders have benefited from 426 new and widened access medicines.

“DHBs are also benefiting as a result of Pharmac’s expanded role in national procurement of hospital medical devices - making savings which can be reinvested into frontline health services.

“This has led to cumulative savings in hospital medical devices and medicines of over $224 million since July 2013 - a saving of almost a quarter of a billion in four years.”

Pharmac received an extra $60 million in Budget 2017 to increase access to new medicines. The Government has increased Pharmac’s budget to a record $870 million for 2017/18 which is an increase of $220 million.

Overall an extra $888 million has been invested in the health sector this year taking the health budget to a record $16.8 billion in 2017/18.