Freeing up resources for DHB hospitals
PHARMAC’s management of pharmaceutical spending in hospitals and the community helps create new service delivery opportunities for District Health Boards.
A recent example is PHARMAC’s listing of intravenous ferric carboxymaltose (Ferrinject) for use in the community. This is an infusion which requires people, who are iron deficient, to spend time in a hospital or a local clinic to receive an infusion.
The decision had two implications for DHB hospitals. Firstly, it provides options for people to receive the treatment in the community if this is available in their region. This would potentially make it easier for people to get access to this treatment, and free up capacity in the hospital for other infusion services, for example for multiple sclerosis or arthritis. Secondly, the listing of Ferrinject in the community schedule enables a shift of spending into the PHARMAC-managed Combined Pharmaceutical Budget, freeing up funds from the hospital’s budget for other services.
Ferric carboxymaltose continues to be available through hospitals, who can provide this service to people where there aren’t community-based services.
Where services are available in the community, these could be accessed by people requiring iron infusions prior to surgery, meaning they need to spend less time in hospital overall.
While PHARMAC is working towards managing a budget for hospital medicines, in the meantime it can still have a significant impact on helping DHBs manage their expenditure on medicines.
Last updated: 12 December 2017