Access to Medicines

New medicines are being developed all the time to better treat both early and advanced breast cancer.

Access to these new medicines is vital if New Zealanders are to have the best possible chance of surviving this disease.

Sadly, New Zealanders do not have the best access to new and innovative medicines.   Some key facts about medicines access in this country:

  • New Zealanders with breast cancer are 40% more likely to die than Australians. [1] 
  • Australia spends $435 per person on medicines, but in New Zealand we spend a mere $180 per person [2]
  • In the UK, 80% of approved new medicines are publicly funded, in Australia 39%, but in New Zealand it’s only 13%. [3]
  • Between 2009 and 2014, New Zealand ranked last out of 20 OECD countries in access to new medicines.  [4]
  • Breast cancer drugs including Perjeta, Kadcyla, Abraxane, Afinitor and Halaven are publicly-funded in Australia but not in New Zealand. [5]
  • Out of 13 OECD countries, New Zealand has the lowest ranking for access to cancer medicines. [6]

BCAC wants to see some of these appalling statistics change to ensure our women and men get the best possible treatments available.

Access to new drugs would extend both quality and length of life for New Zealanders with breast cancer and would give oncologists additional options for treating different sub-types of breast cancer.

On this page you can:

 

References:

[1] Campbell I.D., Scott N., Seneviratne S., Kollias, J., Walters D, Taylor, C, Webster F, Zorbas H and Roder DM 2014. Breast cancer survival in New Zealand women. ANZ J Surg. 2015 Jul;85 (7-8):546-52. doi: 10.1111/ans.12851.

[2] PHARMAC NZ; Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, Australia; Statistics NZ; Australian Bureau of Statistics.

[3] Access to New Medicines: Comparison Across OECD Countries. IMS Consulting Group, Report for Medicines Australia, 2015; Comparison of Access and Reimbursement Environments: A report benchmarking Australia’s access to new medicines. Medicines Australia (2015).

[4] Access to New Medicines: Comparison Across OECD Countries. IMS Consulting Group, Report for Medicines Australia, 2015; Comparison of Access and Reimbursement Environments: A report benchmarking Australia’s access to new medicines. Medicines Australia (2015).

[5] Schedule of Pharmaceutical Benefits: Effective 1 September 2016. PBS, Department of Health, Australian Government. www.pbs.gov.au

New Zealand Pharmaceutical Schedule: effective 1st October 2016. Pharmaceutical Management Agency (PHARMAC).

[6] Access to New Medicines: Comparison Across OECD Countries. IMS Consulting Group, Report for Medicines Australia, 2015; Comparison of Access and Reimbursement Environments: A report benchmarking Australia’s access to new medicines. Medicines Australia (2015).