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The Ministry of Health leads New Zealand’s health and disability system.  The Ministry of Health is currently leading work on a new, collaborative approach to achieving the outcomes of the New Zealand Medicines Strategy (Medicines New Zealand) – working closely with PHARMAC, the Health Quality and Safety Commission, district health boards and pharmacists to take a more strategic approach to action that is guided by a small set of ‘impact areas’. 


The challenge 

We were commissioned to design and facilitate a process to engage senior clinicians, policy makers, and senior government officials to identify the priorities and focus of a new national medicines strategy.  This involved a range of group work and workshops and analysis from our specialist team.

What did we do? 

Utilising co-design methods, participants in the innovation session stepped back from the specific focus of their daily work and applied their collective knowledge, expertise and energy across a range of questions and challenges.

At the end of the full-day, high energy and interactive workshop, participants had:

  • identified challenges for the medicines system over the next 5-10 years
  • identified current trends, barriers and opportunities for responding to these challenges
  • identified new and potentially innovative impact areas that respond to challenges
  • developed potential criteria to assess impact areas.

We created 

From the workshop we prepared a concise paper describing, assessing and prioritising the areas of action detailed above.

Our impact 

The facilitation and reporting of this process helped the Ministry of Health to identify, prioritise and assess potential impact areas to focus a new, collaborative approach to the optimal use of medicines in New Zealand.