Media Release

New Zealand Health Statistics of Concern

By Dr Lee Mathias
25 Jun 2013

A publication recently released by Medicines New Zealand entitled Did You Know? highlights some of the difficulties New Zealand faces with health issues and pharmaceutical funding.

"This makes compelling reading, for example New Zealand ranks 31st out of 32 countries in the amount we spend on pharmaceuticals as a share of GDP. While some of this is due to lower costs it also means that New Zealanders increasingly lack access to new and innovative medicines that could help manage chronic health conditions and contribute to quality of life," says Kevin Sheehy, General Manager of Medicines New Zealand.

"Furthermore some of New Zealand's general health statistics are concerning compared to other OECD countries especially in relation to asthma hospital admission rates, the prevalence of obesity among adults and heart disease."

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in New Zealand accounting for 40% of deaths annually. Every 90 minutes a New Zealander dies from coronary heart disease.Medicines New Zealand is the industry association representing companies engaged in the research development, manufacture and marketing of prescription medicines.

The organisation is committed to working together with the New Zealand Government and PHARMAC to deliver better access to innovative medicines to improve the quality of life of all New Zealanders.


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