Budget 2020 will ensure New Zealanders continue to get the medicines they need, despite global pressure on supply
chains, Health Minister David Clark says.
The Government has announced an increase of $160 million over four years in the Combined Pharmaceutical Budget, which is
managed by PHARMAC and covers DHB purchasing of medicines, vaccines, medical devices and other treatments.
“New Zealanders deserve access to the best possible care and treatment, and PHARMAC plays a key part in that,” David
“Of course these are not normal times. Budget 2020 will have a significant focus on economic recovery and rebuilding to
“But at the same time it is vital that we prioritise additional investment in critical services like PHARMAC.
“First and foremost this will secure our medicine supply, while at the same time allowing scope for PHARMAC to continue
to work on expanding the range of funded treatments where possible.
“Since Budget 2019, 13 new medicines have been approved by PHARMAC to become publicly funded, including six new cancer
treatments. In fact, in the last two years, more than 200,000 New Zealanders have benefitted from 65 additional or
widened access subsidised medicines.
“Budget 2020 locks in those gains,” David Clark said.
On 1 September 2019, the Government announced an extra $60 million in funding for PHARMAC – $20 million in 2019/20 and
$40 million in 2020/21. That was followed last month by a one-off investment in essential medicines of $35 million in
response to COVID-19.
Today’s announcement provides a further boost, with an extra $10 million in 2020/21, and $150 million over the following
“This is a critical investment in the health of our country and takes PHARMAC’s medicines budget to a record $1.045
billion for 2020/21. That’s an increase of $174 million since 2017/18 – or 20 percent.
“This Government is committed to improving the health and wellbeing of all New Zealanders. Protecting our medicines
supply by continuing to invest in PHARMAC does just that,” David Clark said.