28 Jun 2017

New strategy from Pharmac to help Pacific communities in NZ

12:46 pm on 28 June 2017

The New Zealand drug buying agency Pharmac has released the Pacific Responsiveness Strategy after a year of consultation with health professionals and Pacific communities.

Pharmac's chief executive hopes the strategy will encourage Pacific people to be proactive with seeking the right health care available for them.

The agency said prescription costs in New Zealand had prevented 17 percent of Pacific adults from collecting prescription drugs in the past year.

Social and economic factors, such as income, over-crowded housing and less familiarity with the health system are contributors to that.

Steffan Crausaz said the strategy aimed to help Pacific communities get better access to medicines.

"We do know that the access is not the same for Pacific people as for other New Zealanders, so in a sense, some people are missing out on medicines that they could benefit from and Pharmac puts in a lot work to choose to write medicines and make them available, but of course they're not really much use if people don't actually get access to them."

Pharmac is hosting meetings for the Pacific communities in Auckland on Thursday 29th June 2017 to hear their views on the strategy.

The Old St Michael Church in Henderson at 11:00am and the Wesley Methodist Church in Papatoetoe at 5:30pm, are the locations for the event.