NZ must head back to OECD medicine standard

Press Release – Researched Medicines Industry Association

The pharmaceutical industry says the $40m announced yesterday by the Government to subsidise new medicines helps New Zealand back on a path to reach OECD standards for medicines expenditure. Dr Pippa MacKay, the Chairman of the Researched Medicines …

NZ must head back to OECD medicine standard

The pharmaceutical industry says the $40m announced yesterday by the Government to subsidise new medicines helps New Zealand back on a path to reach OECD standards for medicines expenditure.

Dr Pippa MacKay, the Chairman of the Researched Medicines Industry Association (RMI), said that if the Government continued to put $40m extra toward medicines each year, it would still take 17 years to reach the OECD average for proportion of total health budget spent on medicines.

“New Zealanders will hope that the new money signals a stop to the decade-long trend in which less and less of the health budget has been spent on medicines.

“That devastating trend has left New Zealanders with reduced or no access to many medicines enjoyed by people in other countries,” Dr MacKay said.

New Zealand’s expenditure on pharmaceuticals as a percentage of the total health budget fell from 14.4% in 1997 to 9.6% in 2007 (pharmaceuticals and other medical non-durables).

On average, OECD countries spend 17.3% of their health budgets on pharmaceuticals.

ENDS.

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