Medicines New Zealand is today launching a digitally-enabled public awareness platform Fairness in Focus. This has been built in response to results from surveys commissioned by Medicines New Zealand to recognise how New Zealanders currently view and understand the process and landscape for public funding of modern prescription medicines and vaccines in New Zealand.
The surveys found that the majority of New Zealanders were unaware of the process or timelines for how medicines are actually funded, but clearly had concerns about their ability to access both modern medicines and vaccines through the public health system.
“We are launching this platform to help educate the New Zealand public about how modern prescription medicines are made available in New Zealand, about the realities of medicines access in New Zealand, and some collaborative solutions on how New Zealand can enhance its processes and systems to get better access to modern medicines and vaccines for all.” says Dr Graeme Jarvis, CEO of Medicines New Zealand.
Over the past years there has been increasing media awareness and coverage of patients or their whanau and friends fundraising for medicines, or patients moving overseas to access medicines and many petitions being presented at Parliament requesting for medicines to be publicly funded. It would seem that many New Zealanders are having to sacrifice a lot in order to get access to the medicines they need.
According to Dr Lee Mathias, Chair of Medicines New Zealand, “Often Kiwis think they will easily get access to the medicines they need when they need them, but it’s not until they, or someone they know, is diagnosed with a disease that they realise a medicine they need isn’t publicly funded. People pay their taxes, so that the public health system will look after them in a timely manner, when they need it most, but for some New Zealand patients with serious but treatable illnesses, this is not the case.”
“Modern medicines can provide cost-effective healthcare solutions and the ways to improve access to these treatments needs more focus and public awareness in New Zealand. Health including medicines and vaccines availability and access should be a top priority. Only by working in a collaborative manner will we be able to generate the best solutions to obtain that goal for patients and our health system in New Zealand - a country that has a focus on fairness and is justifiably proud of that position” said Dr Mathias.
Take a look at the Fairness in Focus platform here.
Medicines New Zealand has been working on collaborative solutions to ensure Kiwi patients and the health system don’t continue missing out on modern medicines. Find out more here.