New fund set up to support research into medicines usage in NZ

8 June 2016 - Why do people not take all the medicine prescribed for them? Why are there differences in the way different people take their medicines? What social and cultural factors most influence medicines use in New Zealand?

These are the type of questions PHARMAC and the Health Research Council of New Zealand hope will be answered through a newly established partnership and research fund.

The partnership makes more than $400,000 available to researchers looking at questions around pharmaceuticals and their use in New Zealand. Proposals for funding are currently being sought.

PHARMAC Chief Executive Steffan Crausaz says the fund is looking to answer questions that might not otherwise be asked.

“For example, we know that about 20 per cent of people on some diabetes medicines only pick up half of their prescriptions, but we don’t fully understand why,” says Steffan Crausaz. “We also know that reports of medicine side effects can go up following news reports of such effects. But is this leading people to report more, or does the placebo effect become enhanced?”

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Michael Wonder

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Michael Wonder