Strategy provides opportunity for improving Pacific health – PHARMAC

Media release Medicines

A new strategy for Pacific health provides an exciting opportunity to improve the health of Pacific people in New Zealand, says PHARMAC Chief Executive Steffan Crausaz.

Speaking at the launch of PHARMAC’s Pacific Responsiveness Strategy today, Steffan Crausaz says the strategy will help PHARMAC focus on work to make a positive difference to the health of Pacific people.

“The strategy provides a foundation for our work which is focused on people getting the best out of the medicines that are funded,” says Steffan Crausaz. “To put this strategy into effect, we’ll need to keep building on the relationships we’ve established with Pacific communities and health providers, and to connect with agencies right across the sector.”

“The statistics tell us that Pacific people don’t always get the medicine they need, experience more illness, and die sooner than other New Zealanders. What the data doesn’t tell us is why, or give us ideas on how to make a change for the better.”

“So it was important for us to go out to the community and Pacific health stakeholders to hear their views. What they told has strongly influenced how we will put this Strategy into effect.”

The community consultation around the draft Pacific Responsiveness Strategy identified reasons why these differences may occur – including cost, understanding labelling or prescriber instructions, systemic issues affecting access to treatment, and medicine interactions (polypharmacy).

“Understanding the reasons for medicine usage differences can help us to develop an effective response,” says Steffan Crausaz.

“We are extremely grateful to the Pacific people from communities around New Zealand who took the time to come to our fonos, to tell us about how they were affected, to share their stories, and to give us ideas on how we can make, or influence change.”