Pharmac increases access to new treatments

Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman

Minister of Health

5 December 2016

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman welcomes Pharmac’s major funding package with Roche for nine medicines which will benefit around 2,000 Kiwis. 

“Budget 2016 invests an extra $124 million over four years to enable Pharmac to provide increased access to new medicines,” says Dr Coleman.

“As a result of the Government’s increased funding, Pharmac has announced a significant funding package with Roche which includes three new treatments - pertuzumab for metastatic breast cancer, obinutuzumab for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, and pirfenidone for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

“This is Pharmac’s third significant funding package following Budget 2016, it also includes widened access to three existing medicines, and considerable savings on five existing medicines.

“This new package shows that Pharmac’s model for increasing subsidised medicines and treatments for New Zealanders is world class.”

Pharmac’s budget for 2016/17 is a record $850 million. The Government has increased Pharmac’s budget by $200 million since 2008.

Earlier this year Pharmac announced two new funding packages, including widened access to Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and varicella vaccinations, funding for two new hepatitis C medicines, treatment for advanced melanoma, and patches for menopausal women.

3.5 million New Zealanders received a subsidised medicine in the last year - that’s three out of four Kiwis. More than 51,000 Kiwis benefited from 21 new and widened access to medicines in 2015/16.

Over the last eight years, nearly 170 new medicines have been subsidised and access has been widened to 245 medicines. As a result, over 800,000 New Zealanders have benefited.

Media contact: Kirsty Taylor-Doig 021 838 372


Last updated: Monday, December 5, 2016

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