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Study Blames Worsening Heart Health on Pharmac Restriction (New Zealand)

This article was originally published in PharmAsia News

Executive Summary

The Canadian Journal of Cardiology reports that New Zealand's "extreme fiscal restraint" at its governmental drug purchasing agency Pharmac has reduced the amount of new drugs available to New Zealand patients and hurt national patient health. The report notes that between 1994 and 1998, New Zealand made 28 new drugs available in the country, less than the 43 made available in Canada. Study authors Dr. Jacques LeLorier and Dr. Nigel Rawson correlate the reduction of new cardiovascular medicines in New Zealand with increasing cardiovascular problems there. In rebuttal, Pharmac counters that its reduction in drug spending has been offset by cheaper sourcing, resulting in net drug gains in availability. The study's data show that New Zealand's heart attack recovery numbers have improved, while cardiovascular patients have increased from 1994 to 2003. Cardiovascular drug spending in New Zealand fell from $20 per capita in 1994 to $12 per capita in 2004. (Click here for more
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