New Zealand to expand PHARMAC to the Pacific
New Zealand is looking at opening up access to its drug buying agency PHARMAC to five Pacific Island countries.
This follows complaints about countries paying too much and drugs taking too long to arrive.
The New Zealand government has a feasibility study underway to improve access to essential medicines for the Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau, Tonga and Samoa.
The Cook Islands prime minister Henry Puna complained during his visit in April that it takes months for drugs to arrive.
He also told the Cook Islands News the country was buying more than $US400,000 worth of pharmaceuticals a year and wanted a better deal.
Documents obtained by RNZ under the Official Information Act show Mr Puna met with New Zealand Health Minister David Clark to discuss a solution.
The documents say PHARMAC's eligibility rules would need to be changed.
The feasibility study is expected to be completed by September.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade-led discussions began in May, reviving earlier discussions in 2012 and 2013.Source: Google News New Zealand | Netizen 24 New Zealand