Making best use of medicines

One of PHARMAC's functions is to promote the responsible use of medicines.

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Campaigns and pilots

He Rongoā Pai – He Oranga Whānau

He Rongoā Pai, He Oranga Whānau began as a wānanga for hauora kaimahi who work in Māori communities. It aimed to improve knowledge and provide information to whānau about the safe and effective use of medicines and includes a component on rongoā Māori.

Since September 2015 our Whānau Ora Collective Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) partners have run these wānanga in their rohe, for whānau as well as for hauora kaimahi.

Making a difference in dementia – pilot

Antipsychotics should be prescribed at the lowest effective dose, for the shortest possible time and only for the specific indications in which they have proven benefit.

The Making a difference in dementia pilot was based in two Aged Residential Care facilities (ARC) in the Wellington region. It was conducted over an eight month period and during this time staff from the ARCs and associated general practices reviewed the care of their patients and implemented specific interventions.

One Heart Many Lives

One Heart Many Lives was created to support Māori and Pacific men to access health services at community events with their whole whānau. It aims to improve their health and wellbeing through understanding their cardiovascular health in a culturally safe and positive environment.

One Heart Many Lives is a campaign promoting appropriate use of medicines, and better lifestyle choices such as eating well, being more physically active or stopping smoking. Developed by PHARMAC, the campaign is now led by Whānau Ora Collectives.

Space to Breathe – He Tapu te Hā

The Space to Breathe - childhood asthma pilot was developed to promote appropriate use of inhaled corticosteroids and self-management education in order to improve health outcomes for children with asthma and address ethnic disparities in morbidity. The pilot provided education and best practice decision support to health practitioners and families of children with asthma.

For health practitioners, tools and resources have been developed to help support and educate families of children with asthma.

For families, there are a range of resources to help understand and manage asthma more easily.

Evaluations of access and optimal use activities

Here are links to evaluations and reviews of some programmes and activities for making better use of medicines. 


For health professionals

Improving access and responsible use of medicines

Targeting access to medicines