Multiple funding proposals being considered by Pharmac

Media release Medicines

Pharmac has issued three consultations today on proposals to fund medicines for conditions including cancer, multiple sclerosis, hormone replacement and HIV. The treatments being considered are estimated to benefit thousands of New Zealanders a year. 

“With the $191 million pharmaceutical budget increase over two years, we are working our way through our options for investment list, looking at what agreements we can now make with suppliers,” says Pharmac’s Chief Executive Sarah Fitt.

In the consultations issued today we are seeking feedback on proposals to:

  • widen funded access to trastuzumab emtansine for early breast cancer
  • widen funded access to two blood cancer treatments and list one new medicine:
    • gemtuzumab ozogamicin for newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukaemia (new listing),
    • obinutuzumab for relapsed or refractory marginal zone / follicular lymphoma (widening access),
    • azacitidine for treatment related myelodysplastic syndrome/acute myeloid leukaemia (widening access)

Breast and blood cancer consultation

  • widen funded access to all eight medicines for relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis treatments consultation

  • widen funded access to emtricitabine with tenofovir disoproxil for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) of HIV
  • widen funded access to antiretrovirals for post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for HIV
  • widen funded access to progesterone for hormone replacement therapy
  • add nitrofurantoin modified release (for urinary tract infections) to the Practitioners Supply Order (PSO) list and remove the wastage claimable rule

Antiretrovirals, progesterone and nitrofurantoin consultation

The consultations have been sent to health professionals, patient groups and others who Pharmac think would be interested. They are available on the Pharmac website for anyone wanting to have their say.

“Consultation is a very important step in our process,” says Ms Fitt. “It’s how we check that the people who will get the most benefit from the medicines will be able to access them. We will also be working closely with our colleagues across the health sector to plan for the implementation of these new treatments.”

“This is just the beginning. This budget increase will mean many more medicines being progressed for funding over the coming 12 to 24 months,” concludes Ms Fitt.

Learn more

Pharmac is getting an additional $71 million for 2022/2023 and then an additional $120 million for 2023/2024. Today’s announcement means Pharmac’s pharmaceutical budget is now $1.186 billion for this year and next year it will be $1.245 billion.

Read the media release