Monday, 10 October 2016, 9:48 am
Press Release: Medicines New Zealand
Paracetamol wins Wellington researchers $20,000 prize

Dr Paul Young will be presented with Medicines New Zealand’s 2016 Value of Medicines Award for leading a world-class study into the effects paracetamol has on patients in intensive care units (ICU) this evening.

“We are impressed with the range and high standard of entries for this year’s Award. The Value of Medicines Award supports innovative research that improves the understanding, effectiveness or safety of the use of medicines, and Dr Young’s research is a worthy winner” said Hon Heather Roy, Medicines New Zealand Chair.

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?

“Dr Young’s study will have a considerable impact on clinical practice in a contentious area of research” said Mrs Roy.

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.

Dr Paul Young will be presented the 2016 Value of Medicines Award by Simon O’Connor, Member of Parliament for Tamaki and Chair of Parliament’s Health Select Committee, this evening.