Competing for Public Funding of Medicines to Treat Rare Disorders in New Zealand (Bull World Health Organ 2015;93:67)
(2015; 1 page)


Meeting the high and increasing price of medicines for rare disorders is an ongoing dilemma for patients, insurers and governments worldwide. In New Zealand, the difficulty has been highlighted by lobbyists campaigning for funding eculizumab for paroxysmal nocturnal haemoglobinuria and for enzyme replacement therapies including alglucosidase alfa for glycogen storage disease type II. The cost per patient per year for these treatments can be more than 500 000 New Zealand dollars (NZ$).

The pharmaceutical industry has long argued that its pricing of such products is justified by high development costs and the comparatively small patient population from which they can recover these costs. The validity of this argument has been recently questioned, as the cost of development is often shared or subject to tax incentives.

The WHO Essential Medicines and Health Products Information Portal was designed and is maintained by Human Info NGO. Last updated: December 1, 2019