22 Jul 2009

Pharmac to spend $27m savings on new medicines

6:45 pm on 22 July 2009

Government drug buying agency Pharmac has made savings of $27 million which will be used to buy new medicines.

The medicines will treat epilepsy, neuropathic pain, heart disease and diabetes and will be purchased over the next three years.

Pharmac says the savings were made by tendering for off-patent medicines, which are essentially a different brand of the same drug.

The drugs come on the market once an inventor's exclusive right to market a medicine has expired.

Pharmac says by purchasing these drugs it is able to promote competition among pharmaceutical companies to lower prices in New Zealand.

Pharmac says without the savings, it would not be able to fund medicines it recently approved for conditions such as leukaemia, hepatitis, inflammatory conditions and cardiovascular disease.