Value of Medicines Award

Applications for the 2016 Value of Medicines Award have closed.

Through the Value of Medicines Award, Medicines New Zealand aims to support an outstanding piece of research that will improve the understanding, effectiveness or safety of the use of medicines or vaccines in New Zealand.

The objective of the Award is to stimulate and reward contemporary research.

The Award takes the form of a single payment of $20,000 to the chosen individual or research team.

 2016 Value of Medicines Award Winner - Dr Paul Young

Paracetamol, the world’s most commonly administered medicine, has never been tested on critically ill patients, until now.

Dr Young, a leading member of the New Zealand ICU research community, and his team at the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand, collaborated with over 200 ICU doctors and 3000 ICU nurses to answer a simple clinical question that is faced each day with the patient: should the fever be treated with paracetamol or not?

The Value of Medicines Award will help Dr Young collaborate with researchers from Scandinavia and Australia in the area of fever management in the ICU.

The results from this study have shown:

  • Paracetamol was safe and well tolerated in ICU patients with fever or infection
  • The medicine reduced body temperature by around a quarter of a degree
  • Patients who survived spent less time in ICU if they were given paracetamol, but patients who died spent more time in ICU before death if given paracetamol.

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Dr Paul Young and Simon O'Conner, MP

2015 Value of Medicines Award Winner - Amy Chan 

Amy Chan is a pharmacist and doctoral candidate at University of Auckland. Chan’s research focused on New Zealand children with asthma, investigating the impact of audio-visual reminders on inhalers. The results from this work have the potential to revolutionise asthma patient outcomes by reinforcing the fact that when patients truly adhere to their medication, they will receive the full benefit.

Watch Amy Chain receive the 2015 Value of Medicines Award below.

Amy Chan VoM2

2014 Value of Medicines Award Winner – Dr Swee Tan

Dr Swee Tan is executive director of the Wellington-based Gillies McIndoe Research Institute (GMRI), and consultant plastic and cranio-maxillofacial surgeon at Hutt Valley District Health Board.

Dr Tan's team found that strawberry birthmarks are caused by stem cells regulated by a hormone system. Their discoveries underscore the new treatment that leads to dramatic shrinkage of strawberry birthmarks within months, negating the need for the traditional treatment using high-dose steroids, and lengthy and complicated surgery over several years. The GMRI's ground-breaking research into, and discoveries of, strawberry birthmarks has potentially enormous implications for the treatment of other tumours, including cancer.

2013 Value of Medicines Award Winner – Dr Conroy Wong

Dr Conroy Wong is the clinical head of respiratory medicine at Middlemore Hospital, a respiratory physician and Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Auckland.

The reason Dr Wong's research enhanced the value of medicines in New Zealand was that his study found for the first time that azithromycin is an effective treatment for bronchiectasis, a debilitating disorder with few evidence based treatments. It evaluated clinically important end points and in particular assessed the effect on pulmonary exacerbations. We believe that this research, published in the Lancet, will have a very strong impact on improving treatment of patients with bronchiectasis.

The study also evaluated the adverse effects of azithromycin and found that it was generally safe and well tolerated.

2012 Value of Medicines Award Winner – Dr Sally Eyers

Dr Sally Eyers’ research assesses the safety of dosage advice used internationally for children and aims to ultimately help parents use paracetamol in the optimal way. The research conducted through the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand has led to publications in high impact journals internationally and will be followed by further research into parents understanding and use of the dosage advice available to them.

2011 Value of Medicines Award Winner – Professor Ian Reid

Professor Ian Reid of Auckland University was one of the first researchers to identify the benefits of modern treatments for osteoporosis and has continued to make major contributions to the evidence on which current treatment of this disease depends. His influential research has had substantial impacts on peoples’ lives through the innovative medicines that are now used in everyday practice internationally.