PHARMAC strategy for improving Pacific health

The new Pacific Responsiveness Strategy launched by PHARMAC aims to provide an opportunity to improve the health of Pacific people in New Zealand.



Speaking at the launch of PHARMAC’s new strategy, Chief Executive Steffan Crausaz says it will help PHARMAC focus on work to make a positive difference to the health of Pacific people.


“The strategy provides a foundation for our work which is focused on people getting the best out of the medicines that are funded,” says Steffan Crausaz.


“To put this strategy into effect, we’ll need to keep building on the relationships we’ve established with Pacific communities and health providers, and to connect with agencies right across the sector.”


On the whole, Pacific people living in New Zealand are considered less healthy than other population groups.


“The statistics tell us that Pacific people don’t always get the medicine they need, experience more illness, and die sooner than other New Zealanders,” advised Crausaz


“What the data doesn’t tell us is why, or give us ideas on how to make a change for the better.”


The community consultation around the draft Pacific Responsiveness Strategy identified reasons why these differences may occur – including cost, understanding labelling or prescriber instructions, systemic issues affecting access to treatment, and medicine interactions (polypharmacy).

The government agency, that decides which pharmaceuticals to publicly fund in New Zealand, will implement the new health system to not only provide access to new medicines and medical devices, but ensure medicines and medical devices are being used effectively.


“It was important for us to go out to the community and Pacific health stakeholders to hear their views. What they told has strongly influenced how we will put this Strategy into effect.”


“We are extremely grateful to the Pacific people from communities around New Zealand who took the time to come to our fono, to tell us about how they were affected, to share their stories, and to give us ideas on how we can make, or influence change.”


With an understanding of the reasons for medicine usage differences PHARMAC intends to develop an effective response, committing to having a renewed action plan every three years over the period 2017-2016.

For more information go to the PHARMAC website.