PHARMAC funding to support access equity research

Media release

PHARMAC Te Pātaka Whaioranga is proud to support Ngā Kaitiaki o Te Puna Rongoā o Aotearoa, the Māori Pharmacists’ Association, as they undertake key research into how whānau Māori can receive equitable access to medicines.

The research, titled Te Puna Rongoā - Achieving Medicines Access Equity for Māori, is being made possible with a joint funding grant from PHARMAC and the Health Research Council of New Zealand and will be undertaken in partnership with researchers from National Hauora Coalition.

“PHARMAC has a long-standing relationship with the Māori Pharmacists’ Association and the National Hauora Coalition,” says PHARMAC’s Chief Advisor Māori Trevor Simpson (Tuhoe, Ngāti Awa). “We are proud to support lead researcher Jo Hikaka (Ngāruahine) and her all-Māori research team look into the barriers that we know many whānau Māori face. Barriers such as getting to a prescriber, paying for medicines and understanding how they work, are just some of the things that stop people from getting the funded medicines they need.

“The causes of health inequities are complex, and solutions do not lie solely with the funding of medicines, or even within the health system across the board, but we also know that PHARMAC itself still has a role to play. We believe addressing these issues and improving access to medicines that we already fund can make a big difference to the health of many New Zealanders. We can’t do this alone – it requires committed collaboration across the whole health system.

“The research that is being funded will be immensely helpful to PHARMAC and we are grateful for the support of the Health Research Council of New Zealand in making this happen,” concludes Trevor.