The Advocacy Brief June 24 1
The Advocacy Brief June 24 1
17 Jun

Advocacy update - June 2024

17 June 2024

With all the news around Govt budgets and medicines access, we thought it would be timely to give our community a detailed advocacy update.

Click here for a separate update about Trikafta and Expanded access to Kalydeco.

Funding for Pharmac

The Government’s May 2024 Budget has provided an additional $1.77 billion for Pharmac for the four years from 1 July 2024. This will enable Pharmac to fund existing and currently planned medicines, ensuring that access to Trikafta will continue, and that the proposal to fund continuous glucose monitors (CGMs), insulin pumps, and consumables can progress.

Unfortunately, this also means that new medicines that are not currently planned will not be able to be funding. This includes the 13 cancer medicines that the Government had proposed to fund through the reinstatement of the $5 prescription change.


Prescription Charge Reinstated for some people

While the funding of the 13 cancer medicines has not been made available, the $5 co-payment for fully subsidised prescription items will return from 1 July 2024 for everyone except:

  • People aged 65 and over
  • Community Services Card holders
  • Under 14s
  • 14-17 year olds who are dependents of Community Services Card Holders.

Information on the new arrangements for prescription charges can be found here.


Pharmac Funding of CGMs, insulin pumps and consumables

Pharmac has delayed the implementation of its proposal to fund continuous glucose monitors (CGMs), insulin pumps, and consumables for people with Type 1 diabetes, including those with cystic fibrosis related diabetes (CFRD).

The proposal was to have been implemented from 1 July 2024 but, following public consultation, Pharmac has announced that it needs more time to consider the feedback it received and ensure that the proposal can be implemented effectively. Pharmac held a webinar on 6 June 2024 to explain why the proposal had been delayed and to respond to some questions. The webinar, responses, and further information can be found here.

Pharmac has reaffirmed its commitment to implementation and advised that it will be taking a revised proposal to its Board for approval, without further public consultation. Unfortunately, Pharmac has yet to confirm a date for implementation. CFNZ is monitoring Pharmac’s progress and will post any updates as soon as they become available.


Valuing Life Summit

CFNZ attended the Valuing Life Medicine Access Summit held at Parliament on 29/30 April. The Summit was organised by Patient Voice Aotearoa (PVA) and Medicines New Zealand and hosted by the Honourable David Seymour, Associate Minister of Health (Pharmac).

The Summit brought together a diverse range of participants, including local and international clinical and health technology assessment experts, patient advocates, representatives from industry and pharmaceutical  companies, central government agencies, and MPs.

The Summit provided for the presentation of papers, panel discussions, and workshops covering a range of issues, including:

  • Enhancing health technology assessment processes
  • Building a fit for purpose Medicines Strategy
  • Providing for better stakeholder engagement in decision-making processes
  • Health innovation optimisation.

A series of white papers are under preparation summarising the outcomes of the Summit.

CFNZ’s CEO Lisa Burns played a major part in organising the Summit as part of her role as a Trustee of PVA.

Information about the Summit can be found here.


Winter – Flu and Covid Vaccination

With winter now well underway and cases of COVID, flu and other respiratory illnesses rising, now is the time to have a COVID booster and flu vaccination if you have not already done so.

Information about access to COVID vaccinations can be found here.

Information about access to flu vaccinations can be found here.

The Government has also announced that COVID RAT tests will continue to be free until 30 September 2024.  The tests can be collected from participating pharmacies and RAT test collection sites. Information about where to collect free RAT tests can be found here.

CFNZ still has a stock of masks that can be made available to those who need them. Please contact your CFNZ social worker if you would like some.

And don’t hesitate to reach out to your local CFNZ Social Worker; Sue, Gretchen, Carolyn or Bev, if you need further support.