Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Pharmac change to speed up medicine funding

Associate Health Minister, David Seymour says changes to Pharmac processes will mean medicines will be able to be considered for funding sooner in New Zealand.

In the change announced today, Pharmac will now assess a funding application at the same time Medsafe is assessing the application for regulatory approval.

“Access to medicines is a crucial part of many Kiwis’ lives. We’re speeding up the process so more people have access to the medicines they need, faster,” says Mr Seymour.

“Currently Pharmac waits until Medsafe has completed its assessment before it starts a funding assessment. Doing both at the same time will mean medicines are assessed sooner.  

“It’s a common-sense efficiency that costs nothing but helps Kiwis in need. It can shave up to nine months off the approval process.”

Australia and Canada already use this process, and in New Zealand Pharmac has been successfully using it for cancer medicines, the Associate Minister said. Now, medicines in all therapeutic areas will go through this more streamlined process, he said.

“This is the first change as part of this Government’s commitment to improving access to medicines. The ACT/National coalition document also commits to making changes to require Medsafe to approve new pharmaceuticals within 30 days of them being approved by at least two overseas regulatory agencies recognised by New Zealand.”

“We’re committed to ensuring that the regulatory system for pharmaceuticals is not unreasonably holding back access. It will lead to more Kiwis being able to access the medicines they need to live a fulfilling life.”

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