7 April 2021: OIA response | Nervous system, oncology agents and immunosuppressants funding and dispensing data

7 April 2021

Dear [name and contact details withheld] 

REQUEST FOR INFORMATION 

Thank you for your request dated 2 March 2021 under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA) for information relating to nervous system, oncology agents and immunosuppressants medicines dispensing data.

You clarified and confirmed your request with us on 11 March 2021. From your email on this date, you requested:

The annual gross cost, total medicines dispensed and average prescriptions per prescriber split by calendar year and sub-therapeutic group [below] from 2016-2021 to date.

Therapeutic groups requested:

  1. Analgesics
  2. Antidepressants
  3. Antiepilepsy drugs
  4. Antinausea and vertigo agents
  5. Chemotherapy agents
  6. Endocrine therapy
  7. Immunosuppressants
  8. Sedatives and hypnotics

Please find the data requested in the tables below included within this response.

Please note:

  1. Data is provided for medicines funded via Section B (Community) of the Pharmaceutical Schedule (Schedule) only; medicines funded via Section H (Hospital) of the Schedule have not been included in this data.
  2. The number of dispensings reported does not equal the number of unique people receiving dispensings. People can receive multiple dispensings.
  3. Data provided is for calendar years 2016-2021 (to date).
  4. Data was extracted on 30 March 2021. This means data provided for 2021 is incomplete.
  5. Average prescriptions per prescriber is calculated by the number of unique initial prescriptions issued, divided by the number of unique prescribers.

You may also find the top 20 therapeutic groups by gross spend and top 20 community medicines by number of funded prescriptions dispensed from our 2019/20 Year in Review useful.

We've published the Year in Review (previously the Annual Review) since 1995. Visit our website to view all our published key reporting documents: www.pharmac.govt.nz(external link) > About > What we do > Accountability information > Key reporting documents

We trust that this information answers your queries. We are making our information more freely available, so we will now publish selected OIA responses (excluding personal details) on our website. Please get in touch with us if you have any questions about this.

Yours sincerely

Rachel Read
Manager, Policy and Government Services

Table 1: Analgesics dispensing data 2016-2021 (to date)

Calendar year

Gross Cost

Number of dispensings

Average prescriptions per prescriber

2016

 $19,720,999.69

 7,834,297

240.67

2017

 $18,662,331.51

 8,019,154

240.68

2018

 $18,114,107.41

 8,075,648

232.59

2019

 $17,775,438.86

 8,533,830

237.12

2020

 $22,517,536.91

 8,552,903

220.65

2021

 $4,196,386.83

 1,469,911

49.69

Table 2: Antidepressants dispensing data 2016-2021 (to date)

Calendar year

Gross Cost

Number of dispensings

Average prescriptions per prescriber

2016

 $13,301,869.80

 3,778,576

131.99

2017

 $10,387,878.65

 3,959,577

134.21

2018

 $8,530,541.51

 3,867,836

132.19

2019

 $8,421,209.14

 3,986,883

135.97

2020

 $9,628,137.94

 4,792,900

142.16

2021

 $1,582,593.28

 809,609

33.17

Table 3: Antiepilepsy drugs dispensing data 2016-2021 (to date)

Calendar year

Gross Cost

Number of dispensings

Average prescriptions per prescriber

2016

 $34,420,089.25

 1,283,039

42.50

2017

 $36,580,193.06

 1,387,307

43.69

2018

 $37,443,429.75

 1,498,872

44.51

2019

 $31,908,346.87

 1,583,578

48.04

2020

 $26,246,898.58

 1,756,975

50.99

2021

 $4,526,990.63

 294,454

12.13

Table 4: Antinausea and vertigo agents dispensing data 2016-2021 (to date)

Calendar year

Gross Cost

Number of dispensings

Average prescriptions per prescriber

2016

 $2,753,260.86

 638,231

39.76

2017

 $2,790,578.17

 658,810

39.61

2018

 $2,777,174.68

 680,732

39.09

2019

 $2,983,868.75

 705,349

40.33

2020

 $3,030,871.10

 695,057

36.97

2021

 $543,773.68

 121,758

9.26

Table 5: Chemotherapeutic agents dispensing data 2016-2021 (to date)

Calendar year

Gross Cost

Number of dispensings

Average prescriptions per prescriber

2016

 $80,600,839.32

 318,848

37.15

2017

 $85,152,183.90

 324,977

35.97

2018

 $90,496,188.31

 332,019

34.53

2019

 $94,249,168.91

 349,253

35.09

2020

 $124,497,136.41

 416,444

36.74

2021

 $22,902,034.80

 62,205

8.40

Table 6: Endocrine therapy dispensing data 2016-2021 (to date)

Calendar year

Gross Cost

Number of dispensings

Average prescriptions per prescriber

2016

 $30,415,914.16

 97,662

10.23

2017

 $34,230,985.29

 103,385

10.20

2018

 $37,473,061.85

 112,718

10.40

2019

 $38,557,534.48

 113,637

10.64

2020

 $45,919,938.31

 147,762

11.15

2021

 $8,005,259.65

 21,490

2.95

Table 7: Immunosuppressants dispensing data 2016-2021 (to date)

Calendar year

Gross Cost

Number of dispensings

Average prescriptions per prescriber

2016

 $ 171,663,734.10

 192,385

14.77

2017

 $ 207,010,906.55

 208,871

15.33

2018

 $ 233,504,379.83

 229,849

15.92

2019

 $ 307,792,857.13

 270,158

18.58

2020

 $ 346,002,880.48

 318,687

20.51

2021

 $55,556,460.33

 53,601

4.96

Table 8: Sedatives and hypnotics dispensing data 2016-2021 (to date)

Calendar year

Gross Cost

Number of dispensings

Average prescriptions per prescriber

2016

 $1,600,777.70

 1,389,068

58.47

2017

 $1,927,449.15

 1,430,310

58.51

2018

 $3,495,840.37

 1,493,219

57.43

2019

 $4,613,103.18

 1,518,204

57.85

2020

 $5,766,108.42

 1,564,589

58.62

2021

 $1,060,220.66

 262,640

14.07