Making best use of medicines
One of PHARMAC's functions is to promote the responsible use of medicines.
Campaigns and pilots:
- Making a difference in dementia - pilot
- One Heart Many Lives
- He Rongoā Pai - He Oranga Whānau
- Space to Breathe - He Tapu te Hā
- Antibiotics - Wise Use of Antibiotics
- Generic medicines
Campaigns and pilots
Antipsychotics should be prescribed at the lowest effective dose, for the shortest [possible time and only for the specific indications in which they have proven benefit.
The Making a difference in dementia pilot is based in two Aged Residential Care facilities (ARC) in the Wellington region. It is being conducted over an eight month period and during this time staff from the ARCs and associated general practices will review the care of their patients and implement specific interventions.
One Heart Many Lives was created to support Māori and Pacific men to access health services at community events with their whole whānau. It aims to improve their health and wellbeing through understanding their cardiovascular health in a culturally safe and positive environment.
One Heart Many Lives is a campaign promoting appropriate use of medicines, and better lifestyle choices such as eating well, being more physically active or stopping smoking. Developed by PHARMAC, the campaign is now led by Whānau Ora Collectives.
He Rongoā Pai, He Oranga Whānau is a wānanga for hauora kaimahi who work in Māori communities. It aims to improve knowledge and provide information to whānau about the safe and effective use of medicines and includes a component on rongoā Māori.
From September 2015 our Whānau Ora Collective Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) partners will be running these wānanga in their rohe.
The Space to Breathe - childhood asthma pilot was developed to promote appropriate use of inhaled corticosteroids and self-management education in order to improve health outcomes for children with asthma and address ethnic disparities in morbidity. The pilot provided education and best practice decision support to health practitioners and families of children with asthma.
For health practitioners, tools and resources have been developed to help support and educate families of children with asthma.
For families, there are a range of resources to help understand and manage asthma more easily.
The Wise Use of Antibiotics resources focus on raising awareness on the appropriate use of antibiotics, especially during winter. Antibiotics are not a cure-all for winter colds and flu, and overuse of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance. There are a number of resources available which can be ordered from www.pharmaconline.co.nz (external link) .
When a company first develops a medicine, it takes out a patent to make sure it is the only one who can produce and market the medicine. When the patent ends, other manufacturers can also make the medicine. When this happens the name, the appearance, and the packaging might change, but the core ingredients will be the same. These are called ‘generic medicines’.
PHARMAC sometimes changes the brand of medicine that is funded because of cost savings. It’s what’s inside that’s important (external link) aims to help answer any questions people have about these changes.
Here are links to evaluations and reviews of some programmes and activities for making better use of medicines. If you'd like more information about these campaigns please email a request.
Last updated: 18 December 2015