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[e-drug] GPs' perceptions regarding access to medicines in New Zealand

E-DRUG: GPs' perceptions regarding access to medicines in New Zealand-BMJ Open
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BMJ Open2012;2:e000518 doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2011-000518 
Health policy 
Open Access
http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/2/2/e000518.full
A qualitative evaluation of general practitioners' perceptions regarding access 
to medicines in New Zealand

Zaheer-Ud-Din Babar1, Piyush Grover2, Rachael Butler3, Lynne Bye1, Janie 
Sheridan1
 
1School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of 
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand 

2Department of Pharmacy, Waikato Hospital, Hamilton, New Zealand 

3School of Population Health, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, 
University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
 
Correspondence to Dr Zaheer-Ud-Din Babar; z.babar@auckland.ac.nz
Received 15 November 2011 
Accepted 1 March 2012 
Published 28 March 2012 
 
Abstract

Objective The objective of this study was to evaluate general practitioners' 
(GPs) perceptions regarding access to medicines in New Zealand. 

Design Qualitative. 

Setting Primary care. 

Participants GPs. 

Main outcome measures GPs' views and perceptions. 

Results GPs were of the view that the current range of medicines available in 
New Zealand was reasonable; however, it was acknowledged that there were some 
drugs that patients were missing out on. When considering the range of 
subsidised medicines available in New Zealand, some GPs felt that there had 
been an improvement over recent years. It was highlighted that unexpected 
funding changes could create financial barriers for some patients and that 
administrative procedures and other complexities created barriers in receiving 
a subsidy for restricted medicines. GPs also reported problems with the 
availability and sole supply of certain medicines and claimed that switching 
from a branded medicine to its generic counterpart could be disruptive for 
patients. 

Conclusions The research concluded that although there were some issues with 
the availability of certain drugs, most GPs were satisfied with the broader 
access to medicines situation in New Zealand. This view is to contrary to the 
situation presented by the pharmaceutical industry. The issues around sole 
supply, the use of generic medicines and the administrative barriers regarding 
funding of medicines could be improved with better systems. The current work 
provides a solid account of what GPs see as the advantages and disadvantages of 
the current system and how they balance these demands in practice. 

Kind Regards
Zaheer
 -----------------
 
Zaheer-Ud-Din Babar, PhD
Senior Lecturer & Head of Pharmacy Practice
School of Pharmacy
Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences
University of Auckland, Private Mail Bag 92019, Auckland
New Zealand
Ph: +64 9 373 7599 Ext 88436
Fax: +64 9 367 7192
www.fmhs.auckland.ac.nz/sop/smr


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