Pharmaceutical Procurement of Targeted High Cost Medicine, New Zealand

The problem

New Zealand’s public health system pharmaceutical procurement model favors medicines that provide diffuse benefits to large population groups, disadvantaging people who need specific high-cost medicines to treat rare conditions. Recent advances in pharmaceuticals have been targeted to small population groups. Often such targeted medicines are costly but produce large benefits for some individuals compared to traditional broad-spectrum medicines.

How we helped

Castalia analyzed ways to better incorporate high-cost narrowly-targeted medicines into the overall decision framework of the pharmaceutical subsidy scheme. We also highlighted how restrictions built into the pharmaceutical benefits scheme, instead of producing savings, led to unnecessary fiscal costs. For example, we studied several high-cost medicines which were funded only for in-house hospital use in order to control costs rather than because in-hospital administration was necessary. We showed that people were being hospitalized unnecessarily just to receive the medicine.


Our report contributed to a change in the government’s approach. Government funding for pharmaceutical benefits has been substantially increased compared to recent trends, recognizing the need to improve access to innovative high costs medicines.

The client

Pfizer New Zealand

Our team

Alex Sundakov

Alex Sundakov

Executive Director

How can we help you?

How can we help you?