The Government drug buying agency Pharmac says more patients suffering rare diseases will get access to medicines as a result of a competitive tendering process it is pioneering.
Chief executive Steffan Crausaz said eight suppliers have put forward 28 proposals for a share of the $5 million annual funding pool for rare medicines announced last August.
He said the idea was to promote competition and get a better deal for New Zealanders.
"We've actually had engagement with companies who have never done business in New Zealand before and for products that we've never actually had the opportunity to review previously and also for medicines that we have reviewed but we haven't been able to progress because they haven't really stacked up as offering what we need in order to make funding work."
He said each funding proposal would be subject to public consultation and the first decisions were likely to be made mid-year.