PMA Welcomes PHARMAC Decision to Fund New Diabetes Medicines

The President of the Pasifika Medical Association (PMA) Dr Kiki Maoate ONZM, FRACS welcomes the announcement by PHARMAC that it will fund two new diabetes medicines to help with the treatment of people Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM).

From 1 February 2021, people with type 2 diabetes will be able to access funded empagliflozin (with or without metformin). They will also be able to get funded dulaglutide once it has Medsafe approval. 

These drugs have been used in Europe and North America since 2014.  There is good evidence to show that these medicines do more than just reduce sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. They can also help manage type 2 diabetes-related complications like kidney and heart disease in people who are at high risk of these complications.

Pacific people have high rates of T2DM with increased risk of kidney failure, blindness and heart disease.  Complications such as kidney failure results in high demand for dialysis and better care for people with kidney disease.

PMA is pleased that PHARMAC has responded positively to our submissions and those of others. We believe that this will improve care for people with T2DM and reduce the inequities that we see between Pacific and Maori, and other New Zealanders. We expect that funding for these drugs will reduce the cost of treatment for people with complications from diabetes.

We encourage people with diabetes and their families to continue to manage their diets and physical activity levels as part of good overall care for diabetes.


Date: Monday 21 December 2020