Value of Medicines

Medicines New Zealand rewards outstanding researchers for undertaking innovative research into the use of medicines or vaccines in New Zealand. The Value of Medicines Award has been rewarding breakthrough research since 2011. 

“This award targets committed New Zealanders who work to reveal breakthroughs for modern medicines or current existing medicines. We know many researchers are working on innovative projects to provide better health outcomes for patients and this opportunity rewards them for doing just that.” 

Winners receive a $20,000 grant to invest in a new or ongoing research project and are recognised at an award ceremony attended by key individuals in the health and research sector.
Download the 2018 application criteria
Applications are currently closed.

The Award is taking a break this year (2020) and will instead return in 2021. Please check back next year.

2018 Value of Medicines Award Winner – Research Set to Impact Opioid Crisis
Counties Manukau Health anaesthetist Dr Nicholas Lightfoot won the 2018 Award for his clinical research into pain management for total knee replacement surgery. His research limits the need to use opioid drugs by utilising the medicine ropivacaine and a technique called local infiltrative analgesia. This improves patients’ recovery time and mobility, leading to overall better health outcomes. Dr Lightfoot is putting the $20,000 grant towards clinical trials to further study into applying the treatment for post-surgery pain relief to further reduce patients’ exposure to opioids.

Past Winners:
2017 – Professor Lisa Stamp, Director of Arthritis Research at University of Otago Christchurch for her and her team’s research into gout – a disease more prevalent in New Zealand than any other country and which left untreated can cause long term joint and kidney damage and disability. Due to genetic factors Maori and Pacific patients have twice the rate of gout and are five times more likely to be hospitalised for gout but are also less likely to receive effective gout treatment. Professor Stamp’s research has influenced international treatment guidelines.

2016 – Dr Paul Young, a leading member of the New Zealand ICU research community, and his team at the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand for their international collaborations in the management of fever in intensive care units (ICUs). Dr Young’s research was published in the New England Medical Journal.

2015 – Amy Chan, pharmacist and University of Auckland doctoral candidate, for her research focused on New Zealand children with asthma, investigating the impact of audio-visual reminders on inhalers. Her results reinforce the fact that when patients truly adhere to their medicine, they receive the full benefit.

2014 – Dr Swee Tan, Executive director of the Gillies McIndoe Research Institute (GMRI) for the GMRI’s ground-breaking research into strawberry birthmarks which has potential implications for new treatment discoveries for other tumours, including cancer.

2013 – Dr Conroy Wong, Respiratory Specialist at Middlemore Hospital and Honorary Lecturer at the University of Auckland, for research published in The Lancet into treatments for bronchiectasis - a debilitating disorder with few evidence-based treatments.

2012 - Dr Sally Eyers of Medical Research Institute of New Zealand for research into the safety of dosage advice for paracetamol use in children which was published in high impact journals internationally.

2011 - Inaugural Award Recipient Professor Ian Reid of the University of Auckland for his influential research into modern treatments for osteoporosis.