4 May 2012

NZ pays low price for medicines but obesity on the rise - report

6:47 pm on 4 May 2012

Health authorities say a report comparing healthcare in this country with other systems worldwide contains no surprises but will provoke thought.

The Commonwealth Fund report shows New Zealand pays among the world's lowest prices for medicines, but has rapidly rising obesity levels.

The Commonwealth Fund is a private United States think-tank which studied health spending in 13 industrialised countries.

It says the US spends the most but it does not mean it has the best healthcare.

It says greater obesity contributes to high US spending, and notes that obesity rising rapidly in this country.

Otago University nutrition professor Jim Mann agrees and says more needs to be done about it because of the likely future effects.

The Health Ministry says health systems are hard to compare, but the remarks on obesity will provoke thought.

Pharmac says the report shows New Zealanders get value for money on medicines.