At the Medicines Policy Summit a new report looked at new prescription- only medicines that were publicly funded between 2000 and 2006 .
In the last six years, 78 new prescription-only medicines have been listed on the Australian PBS, which was the equivalent of Pharmac. Of these medicines, 72 are registered in New Zealand, of which only 20 are funded by Pharmac.
The report showed that New Zealand is slower to fund new drugs when compared to Australia.
Dr Pippa MacKay, chairwoman of Researched Medicines Industry Association (RMI) said that Closeup Pharmac took too long to decide on the funding of a drug. She also pointed out that New Zealand needed to spend more on funding medicine.
Dr Peter Moodie, medical director of Pharmac said , that they were trying to 'get the best possible health care out of the health dollars we've got available' and added that, while some medicines available in Australia are not available in New Zealand, the reverse also holds true. He also reminded that if more was spent on pharmaceuticals it definitely meant that less was spent somewhere else in the health budget.