Additional Investment in Health Welcomed

Published: Mon 14 May 2012 05:20 PM
Additional Investment in Health Welcomed
Medicines New Zealand welcomes Prime Minister Key’s announcement today regarding the additional investment in health.
Reallocation of funding to allow better use of our health dollar has been something Medicines New Zealand has long advocated for.
“Raising the prescription fee for prescriptions to $5 from January 2013 will make a positive contribution to supporting New Zealand’s health sector,” Medicines New Zealand General Manager Kevin Sheehy says.
Recent Colmar Brunton research, commissioned by Medicines New Zealand in 2010, indicated that New Zealanders would feel comfortable paying between $5 and $9 for each prescription item, so this increase sits well within the realms of an acceptable increase.
“With the cost of new medicine development increasing due to increased regulatory requirements for clinical trials, it could also be beneficial to link the prescription charges to inflation.“The current practise of funding older medicines, including many over the counter medicines, comes at the expense of not being able to fund the newer, innovative medicines that help save and improve peoples’ quality of life, allowing them to remain active and productive for longer,” Mr Sheehy says.
“We hope some of the additional money raised will go towards funding innovative medicines that New Zealander’s currently don’t have access to.
“Moving health spending to those areas of health that would otherwise cause major financial hardships to families is a means of improving the health gains that the health system is able to achieve.
“We support this increase, as robust systems such as community services or high user health cards remain in place to ensure those who require financial assistance are still able to access prescription medicines.
“Most health systems try to support people getting healthcare for very serious health conditions, while allowing people to cover the minor costs of day to day care for themselves.
“We also welcome the other health initiatives announced by the Prime Minister today – with particular support around complex health conditions such as improving cancer services, which frequently involve innovative medicines. These initiatives are important to ensure NZ patient safety and outcomes are improved,” Mr Sheehy says.

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