Make a complaint

The complaints process is one way we can connect with you, our communities, the health system, and each other.

On this page

How to make a complaint

You can email enquiry@pharmac.govt.nz

Please include the following where appropriate:

  • Your name (optional)
  • Details of the best way to contact you (optional)
  • Your complaint
  • How you would like to see the complaint resolved
  • Whether there’s any support you need to participate in the complaints process, e.g. a translator.

If you want, you can use one of these forms to make the complaint.

Other ways to make a complaint

You can call us, write a letter or make an appointment with us. However, using the form or email means we receive your complaint in the fastest way. 

Contact details

What about my privacy? 

We collect personal information from you so we can respond to your complaint. This  includes:

  • your name
  • contact information
  • details of your complaint.

If you choose not to provide your contact information, we cannot respond to your complaint, however we can still collect your complaint and consider it for future improvement purposes.

If you do not want us to have your email address, please let us know. We will remove it and any other personal information from our records on receipt of your email. We will keep an anonymised version of your complaint so we can improve our processes.  

If you provide us with personal information as part of your complaint and do not request that we delete it, we keep your personal information until we can resolve your issue. Once your complaint is resolved, we securely destroy your personal information by removing it from the complaint record. We keep a general summary so we can improve our processes.

You have the right to ask for a copy of any personal information we hold about you, and to ask for it to be corrected if you think it is wrong. You can contact us at:

What is a complaint?

We believe that a complaint shows that someone cares about what we do. It’s an opportunity for engagement, for reflection, for improvement and for growth.

We define a complaint as:

an expression of dissatisfaction made to or about Pharmac, regarding our work, staff, or the handling of a complaint.

We believe that anyone – suppliers, consumers, advocates, and the public – have the right to easily make a complaint.

We are here to whakarongo (listen). Our complaint’s process:

  • is based on our values of whakarongo (listen), tūhono (connect), wānanga (learn), māia (be courageous)
  • recognises our role as kaitiaki (guardians of the future).

More about our values

What to expect after sending your complaint

While we aim to communicate clearly, we may get it wrong. Please ask questions if anything we say isn’t easy to understand.

Within 3 working days, we will acknowledge receipt of your complaint

If your complaint is easy to resolve, we will work with you to resolve the complaint quickly. If your complaint is more complex, we will tell you more about Pharmac’s internal complaints handling process and how we plan to deal with your complaint.

We record complaints in our complaints register

We use the register to:

  • make sure all complaints are dealt with in a timely manner
  • monitor for recurring issues
  • improve our processes.

What happens after my complaint has been acknowledged?

Whakarongo: We enquire and gather information

Your story and experience are important to us. We want to hear from you.  We know that it takes māia (courage) to share your story and experiences and we ask that you share as much information as possible about what happened and what impact It has had on you. We will also share information with you.

Tūhono: Early resolution of complaints

We aim to resolve complaints early. If your complaint is something we can resolve in the call or during our first contact, we will try to do so. .

Wānanga: Investigation

Some complaints will be more complex and we will need to look into them more deeply. When we investigate your complaint, we commit to treating you with respect. 

We will:

  • gather all the information we need from you and anyone else needed
  • make sure the right people are involved
  • explore possible resolutions with you.

We look at as many resolution options as possible during this process. We encourage you to make suggestions too.

If possible, your complaint will be handled by someone at Pharmac who is not part of the complaint, so they can be more objective.

We aim to work with you and finalise any complaint investigation within 20 working days. If it’s going to take longer, we will tell you.

Some complaints may be suitable for mediation or need an external facilitator. We will discuss this option with you. If you agree, we will arrange for an independent third party to mediate or facilitate our discussion.

What happens after the investigation is completed?

When our investigation is finished, we will contact you to discuss the next steps.

This may include:

  • negotiating a resolution with you
  • explaining our position
  • suggesting other options for you to consider.

We will tell you what our final decision is and update our complaint register. This will be the end of our internal complaints process.

What if I am unhappy with the resolution?

You can take your complaint to the Human Rights Commission(external link)

Will it cost me to lodge a complaint? 

There is no charge to anyone accessing our complaint management system

Is this complaint for Pharmac?

Pharmac can only consider complaints about matters within its control. Sometimes people will complain to Pharmac about things other organisations are responsible for. We will always let you know the best place to send your complaint.

Complaints about: