Salbutamol and budesonide/formoterol data with age breakdown

OIA response

Thank you for your request dated 13 November 2021 under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA) for information relating to salbutamol and budesonide/formoterol. Further to our response of 19 October 2021, you requested: 

The asthma medication dispensing data according to age ranges (in exactly the same format as previously provided from 2010 to current) 

On 15 November 2021, you wrote to us with some additional comments/requests: 

  1. Re the age groups, although I have requested data by <12 years and ≥ 12 years, I realise that the age groups for which PHARMAC collects data may not align, for example may be 0-4, 5-9, 10-14…  If this is the case, it would be preferable if you provided the data for the greatest number of age groups possible. 
  2. Currently the data has been provided by medication product (as requested). For budesonide/formoterol would it be possible to provide the data for budesonide/formoterol turbuhaler and for budesonide/formoterol MDI separately. 
  3. Currently the data has been provided for devices dispensed (as requested). We were hoping you could also provide the data for prescriptions, which I understand may also be available. 

As discussed with you on Friday 10 December 2021, we advised that we would provide you with the information we hold but that we needed more time to finalise the data for release. 

We have now finalised the data you requested for release. Please find the data attached with this response. 

Additionally, please note that we approach our assessment of requests for information under the OIA on the basis that once we release the information to you it becomes available to any other party in that exact form (whether by you distributing it to others or by virtue of us receiving the same request from a different third party). 

Where fewer than 10 numbers are counted, we have changed the number to "<10" as we believe this is necessary to protect the privacy of these people (section 9(2)(a) of the OIA). 

As required under the OIA, we also considered whether, in the circumstances, the withholding of this information was outweighed by other considerations which render it desirable, in the public interest, to make this information available.  In this case we did not consider that the public interest outweighed the reasons for withholding the information. 

Please note you have the right, by way of complaint under section 28(3) of the OIA to an Ombudsman, to seek an investigation and review of our decision. 

We trust that this information answers your queries. We are making our information more freely available, so we now publish selected OIA responses (excluding personal details) on our website. Please get in touch with us if you have any questions about this.