PHARMAC commits to equity target by 2025

Media release Medicines

Achieving equity in medicines access is one of the bold goals PHARMAC has set itself to achieve by 2025.

Writing in the agency’s 2017 Year in Review, Chief Executive Steffan Crausaz says that as it completes a quarter century of service to New Zealand, the time is right to set some intentionally difficult goals to work towards.

“Our new strategy challenges us to make an even bigger contribution to the New Zealand health system, and to the health of all New Zealanders,” he says.

Steffan Crausaz says some groups of people don’t get to benefit from funded medicines compared with others, and PHARMAC wants to change that.

“We know that there are differences in access to medicines by some population groups, particularly when looked at by ethnicity,” he says.

As well as the goal of eliminating inequities in access to medicine, PHARMAC is aiming to achieve $1 billion in savings for Vote Health in medical devices, and to create systems to enable effective and fair allocation of resources across all medicines and medical device technologies.

“We know that striving to meet these goals alongside our partners will have a positive impact on the health system and improve the lives of all New Zealanders.”

Steffan Crausaz says the medical devices savings target is about securing the value from PHARMAC’s work for reuse in the health system.

“We’re ambitious about our ability to achieve greater savings in future. We’re encouraged by the track this is already taking – savings in medical devices are similar to the savings we generated in community medicines and hospital medicines in the early years.”

In medical devices, PHARMAC continues to expand the categories it manages under national contracts, and it took the first steps towards introducing national competition through ‘market share’ agreements for some wound care products.

PHARMAC’s management of the Combined Pharmaceutical Budget, which includes community medicines, vaccines, haemophilia and hospital cancer treatments, achieved cumulative savings of $5.8 billion over 10 years, while New Zealanders continued to get funded access to a wider choice of medicines.

Highlights of the 2016/17 year for New Zealanders in hospital or the community included 22 new medicines and a further 10 with improved access.  These include new generation treatments for advanced melanoma, the chickenpox vaccine and hepatitis C, capable of cure rates of up to 95%.

Highlights from PHARMAC 2017 Year in Review

  • Further medicines funding boost from Government - $60m over four years
  • New treatments for hepatitis C used by more than 2000 New Zealanders
  • 60,000 children a year benefit from funding of chickenpox vaccine
  • The value of medical devices under PHARMAC national contracts exceeds $100 million
  • Pacific Responsiveness Strategy is refreshed
  • Research grants awarded in partnership with Health Research Council
  • 300 DHB staff attend our hospital medical devices forums
  • Wound care market share agreements go live in hospitals
  • Rare disorders contestable funding pilot funds 10 new treatments
  • Deliver evidence-based information for healthcare workers online and in seminars.