Pharmacology and Therapeutics Advisory Committee (PTAC)

PTAC's role is to provide objective clinical advice to Pharmac.

On this page

Updates to this page

10 July 2024 - Link to August agenda added

About PTAC

PTAC provides objective clinical advice to help Pharmac make decisions about how to use its funds wisely. It provides and promotes critical appraisal of the strength and quality of evidence for funding applications. This is applied rigorously, systematically, and consistently across all clinical areas.

It's made up of senior health practitioners from a range of specialities, who also regularly work with patients and their families. This means they can bring an evidence-based perspective but also provide insight on how Pharmac’s decisions apply to real people in New Zealand.

The full details of PTAC’s remit can be found in its Terms of Reference. The Terms of Reference were updated in 2021 to include the potential to have a consumer member, and increase consumer perspectives, on PTAC. Te Tiriti and health equity expertise are also more strongly centred than previously.

A recommendation from PTAC is not a guarantee that Pharmac will fund the medicine. PTAC’s advice is a vital step in the process for considering all funding applications, but it is not the only consideration. Pharmac must look at the whole picture to ensure we are getting the best health outcomes for New Zealand. 

Pharmac's prioritisation process

We publish PTAC minutes on the website once they are agreed by the committee.

PTAC members

  • Jane Thomas (Chair)  Paediatric Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine Specialist
  • Brian Anderson – Anaesthesia & Intensive Care Medicine Specialist
    MBChB, Dip Obst, FANZCA, FCICM, PhD
  • Rhiannon Braund (Deputy Chair) – Clinical Pharmacist
    PhD, BPharm, BSc (Biochemistry), FPS, FNZCP
  • Matthew Dawes – Physician and Clinical Pharmacologist
    BSc, MB BS, MRCP, PhD 
  • Elizabeth Dennett – General Surgery - Colorectal
    BMedSci, MBChB, GradDipMed, MMedSci, MAppMgt(Hlth), FRACS, FASCRS
  • Helen Evans – Paediatric Gastroenterology and Hepatology
  • Bruce King  Specialist Internal Medicine and Nephrology 
  • Liza Lack National Clinical Lead General Practice Education at Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners
    BMed Sci, MB,BS,DRCOG,DFFPA,DCH,PG Dip GP (Hons),Dip Strategic Management (Hons),Master Health Science
  • James Le Fevre - Emergency Medicine Specialist
  • Robyn Manuel – Consumer Member
    BSc, MSc (1st class), PhD (Chemistry), PGDip.Public Health, Dip.Te Reo Maori, GradDip.Teaching (Secondary). Te Rarawa, Ngāti Kahu, Ngāti Kurī and Te Aupōuri
  • John Mottershead – Consultant Neurologist
    FRACP, FRCP BM BCh, BA (oxon), MSc (Distinction)
  • Stephen Munn  Transplant Surgeon
  • Matthew Strother  Medical Oncologist
  • Paul Vroegop Child & Adolescent Liaison Psychiatrist and Specialist Pain Medicine Physician

PTAC members are appointed by the Director-General of Health, in consultation with the Pharmac Board. This process is guided by an appointment protocol [PDF, 72 KB].

Interested senior health practitioners can apply directly or are nominated by professional medical bodies, such as the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. Vacancies are posted on the Pharmac careers page(external link).

PTAC's part in the funding process

PTAC's role in considering funding applications is set out in Pharmac’s Operating Policies and Procedures. Pharmac will assess the initial funding application and notify the applicant whether:

  • it will be considered by PTAC
  • it will be considered by a PTAC subcommittee, or
  • further information is required before an assessment can be made.

How to make a funding application

If you are seeking funding for a specific patient with exceptional circumstances, you can submit a Named Patient Pharmaceutical Assessment (NPPA) application. 

The NPPA process 

Deadlines for PTAC meetings

If Pharmac chooses to seek PTAC advice on a funding application, the application must have been received by the following dates to be available for consideration at one of PTAC’s four annual meetings. 

Deadline for an application to be received by Pharmac, to be considered by PTAC: PTAC’s meeting date:
24 August 2023 16 and 17 November 2023
13 November 2023 15 and 16 February 2024
19 February 2024 16 and 17 May 2024
20 May 2024 16 August 2024
19 August 2024 14 and 15 November 2024

August 2024 PTAC meeting agenda

Summary of applications being discussed at the August 2024 PTAC meeting

This meeting will be held online and is one day only.

Records of PTAC meetings

Who to contact

If you have any questions regarding PTAC, please contact the Expert Advice Coordinator at