Media Release – The New Zealand Society for Study of Diabetes

The New Zealand Society for the Study of Diabetes, Te Rōpū
Whakakaupapa Urutā and Te ORA welcome long-awaited PHARMAC
funding of new diabetes medications

The New Zealand Society for the Study of Diabetes (NZSSD), Te Rōpū Whakakaupapa Urutā /
National Māori Pandemic Group and Te Ohu Rata o Aotearoa (Te ORA) / Māori Medical
Practitioners’ Association are pleased that people with type 2 diabetes in Aotearoa New Zealand
can now access two new classes of diabetes medications. “The funding of these two new
medications for type 2 diabetes is long-awaited welcome news,” said Dr Helen Snell, President
of NZSSD. These medications will make a meaningful difference to diabetes outcomes,
especially in reducing diabetes-related cardiovascular and kidney complications.

PHARMAC is funding the new medications under special authority for people meeting certain
criteria. Dr Jade Tamatea, on behalf of Te Rōpū Whakakaupapa Urutā & Te Ohu Rata o
Aotearoa, said “We are pleased PHARMAC considered all feedback on who should access these
new medications, and the special authority criteria reflects this. In particular, the specific
inclusion of ethnicity and childhood/young adult diagnosis criteria acknowledges the associated
increased likelihood of complications for these groups and facilitates the access needed to
achieve equity in diabetes care and outcomes for Māori and Pacific whānau.” We now need to
focus on ensuring that those who most need these medications can access them in a timely way.
Dr Helen Snell, says “The availability of these new diabetes medicines coincides with NZSSD’s
recent release of updated guidance on Type 2 Diabetes Management.”

The guidance (available
from the NZSSD website at provides evidence-based clinical
recommendations for all diabetes management options, including healthy eating, physical
activity and these newly available medications, specifically tailored to Aotearoa New Zealand.
Dr Ryan Paul, NZSSD Executive member and lead of the development of the NZSSD guidance,
says “The introduction of these new medicines provides the perfect opportunity to address the
significant deficiencies in the care of all New Zealanders with type 2 diabetes, particularly in
optimising all aspects of diabetes management and reducing the substantial inequities for Māori
and Pacific peoples.” Dr Tamatea agrees, “With growing awareness of the impact of the ongoing
COVID-19 response on long term health conditions, these medications and the new guidance
offer an opportunity to spotlight diabetes care in Aotearoa and actively build fair, equitable
healthcare systems.”

Contacts for the NZSSD:
Dr Helen Snell, PhD, Nurse Practitioner
New Zealand Society for the Study of Diabetes
Tel: 027 250 0115, Email:
Dr Ryan Paul, Endocrinologist
NZSSD Executive member and guidance development lead.
New Zealand Society for the Study of Diabetes
Tel: 021 310 974, Email:

Contact for Te Rōpū Whakakaupapa Urutā/Te Ohu Rata o Aotearoa:
Dr Jade Tamatea, Endocrinologist
Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Kahungunu
Endocrinology spokesperson, Te ORA
Subgroup lead, Te Rōpū Whakakaupapa Urutā / National Māori Pandemic Group

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