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Randomised controlled trial of prescription charges: feasibility study

16 months
Approved budget:
Professor Pauline Norris
Health issue:
Other (generic health or health services)
Proposal type:
Feasibility Study
Lay summary
Prescription charges in New Zealand are low but can still prevent some people picking up prescription medicines they need. We plan to do an experiment where we recruit a group of people, who have many health problems, use a large number of medicines, struggle to pay for prescriptions, and are likely to need more hospital care if they do not take their medicines. We will divide the group in half, pay prescription charges for one group, and compare the groups in their use of health services, to see whether free prescriptions make a difference. This feasibility study will allow us to work out which groups of people to involve, how many we will need to include to be sure our results are correct, how to find these people, which outcomes to look at, how best to provide free prescriptions and find organisations to contribute funding to the study.