Pharmaceutical pricing in New Zealand

Rajan Ragupathy, Kate Kilpatrick, Zaheer Ud Din Babar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


All New Zealand residents are covered by a national public health system, and approximately 80 % of all health expenditure is publically financed. A well-regulated system of privately owned pharmacies supplies outpatient pharmaceuticals, while inpatient pharmaceuticals are provided in secondary care facilities. New Zealand does not use pharmaceutical price controls, leaving prices to be determined by negotiation. However, the public health system has a very effective monopsony purchaser, the Pharmaceutical Management Agency of New Zealand (PHARMAC). PHARMAC negotiates the prices of inpatient, outpatient and cancer pharmaceuticals, vaccines and medical devices, and manages a capped national budget for outpatient and cancer pharmaceuticals. PHARMAC also sets (separate) national positive formularies of publically funded outpatient and inpatient pharmaceuticals, and administers access schemes for pharmaceuticals that are not on these formularies. PHARMAC uses a variety of mechanisms to obtain favourable prices, including competitive tendering, sole supply contracts, reference pricing, bundling deals, risk sharing agreements and promoting use of generics. Health technology assessment is used extensively in decision making and price negotiations. As a result, New Zealanders have universal and nationally consistent pharmaceutical coverage, with lower patient pharmaceutical co-payments than many comparable countries.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPharmaceutical Prices in the 21st Century
EditorsZaheer-Ud-Din Babar
PublisherSpringer International Publishing AG
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9783319121697
ISBN (Print)9783319121680
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2014
Externally publishedYes


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