Pharmacology and Therapeutics Advisory Committee (PTAC)

PTAC is Pharmac’s primary clinical advisory committee established under the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000, section 50 (1). PTAC's role is to provide objective clinical advice to Pharmac.

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Last updated: 15 September 2021

Dates for November meeting corrected to 18 and 19 November. They were stated as 11 and 12 November. 

This correction has no impact on the application deadline and/or any applications received for this meeting.

About PTAC

The activities PTAC undertakes for Pharmac are listed in the Terms of Reference for the Pharmacology and Therapeutics Committee (PTAC) and PTAC subcommittees 2016.

PTAC forms part of the whole Pharmac process, and the particular role of PTAC is to provide objective clinical advice to assist Pharmac in making its decisions about how to use its funds wisely.

A central part of what PTAC does is, because patients are at the centre of what PTAC talks about - we're all clinicians dealing with real patients and their families - we can bring that evidence-based perspective but also in relation to its application to real people in New Zealand.

Well, I think there's actually an emotional commitment to doing the best for New Zealanders. In terms of technical skills an ability to think critically, and have an awareness of the application of evidence, its limitations, its strengths, to the decision-making process but also to have patients at the heart of the decision making process in relation to medications.

PTAC is made up of senior health practitioners from a range of specialities, who consider clinical evidence for funding applications, and take into account Pharmac's Factors for Consideration before making recommendations to Pharmac.

A recommendation is not guarantee that Pharmac will fund the medicine. 

Pharmac decides what will be funded, considering all the options for funding, to ensure we are getting the best possible health outcomes for New Zealand.

Following PTAC meetings, Pharmac considers the funding applications using our Factors for Consideration framework, and compares and ranks them against other funding applications we have received.

Read more about PTAC's role in the funding process 

Meet our advisers: What is PTAC?

What PTAC means to the committee members.

PTAC members

  • Mark Weatherall (Chair) - Internal Medicine - Geriatric
    BA, MBChB, MApplStats, FRACP
  • Marius Rademaker (Deputy Chair) - Dermatologist 
    BM (Soton), MRCP (UK), JCHMT Accreditation, DM, FRCP (Edin), FRACP
  • Brian Anderson – Anaesthesia & Intensive Care Medicine Specialist
    MBChB, Dip Obst, FANZCA, FCICM, PhD
  • Rhiannon Braund – Clinical Pharmacist
    PhD, BPharm, BSc (Biochemistry), FPS, FNZCP
  • Elizabeth Dennett - General Surgery - Colorectal
    BMedSci, MBChB, GradDipMed, MMedSci, MAppMgt(Hlth), FRACS, FASCRS
  • Alan Fraser - Gastroenterologist
    MBChB, MD, FRACP
  • Sean Hanna - General Practitioner
    MBChB, FRNZCGP, FRACGP, PGDipGP, PGDipClinEd
  • Bruce King - Specialist Internal Medicine and Nephrology 
    MBChB, FRACP
  • Jennifer Martin - Clinical Pharmacologist
    MBChB, MA(Oxon.), FRACP, PhD
  • Stephen Munn - Transplant Surgeon
    MBChB, FRACS, FACS
  • Giles Newton-Howes - Psychiatrist
    BA, BSc, MBChB, MRCPsych, PostDip BD, FRANZCP
  • Lisa Stamp - Internal Medicine and Rheumatology
    MBChB, FRACP, PhD, PGCertStratLdrship
  • Tim Stokes - General Practitioner
    MA, MBChB, MPH, PhD, FRCP, FRCGP, FRNZCGP
  • Matthew Strother - Medical Oncologist
    MD (USA), FRACP
  • Jane Thomas - Paediatric Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine Specialist
    MBChB, FANZCA, FFPMANZCA
  • Simon Wynn Thomas - General Practitioner
    BMedSci (UK), MRCP (UK), MRCGP (UK), DFFP, FRNZCGP

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).

Application information

PHARMAC’s Operating Policies and Procedures set out the procedures for making amendments to the Pharmaceutical Schedule, including PTAC’s role in the process.

Read more about how to make a funding application

When applying please ensure that the application is complete. Once the application is reviewed, PHARMAC will advise you if we need more information or if the application is not in scope for PHARMAC’s assessment.  

If you are seeking funding for a specific patient, you will need to submit a Named Patient Pharmaceutical Assessment (NPPA) application. 

Read more about 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:

9 November 2020

18 & 19 February 2021

22 February 2021

20 & 21 May 2021

24 May 2021

19 & 20 August 2021

16 August 2021

18 and 19 November 2021*

Pharmac will assess the initial funding application and notify the applicant whether:

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

* Dates for this meeting were corrected on 15 September 2021. This correction has no impact on the application deadline and/or any applications received for this meeting. (Previous dates were 12 and 13 November).

August 2021 PTAC meeting

Applications reviewed at this PTAC meeting were:

  • Erenumab for migraine
  • Micronised progesterone for menopause
  • Risdiplam for SMA (+ SMA treatment horizon scanning)
  • Cinacalcet for hyperparathyroidism
  • Aprepitant widening access to nausea and vomiting associated with carboplatin-based chemotherapy
  • Mirabegron for urinary incontinence

Records of PTAC meetings

Who to contact

If you have any questions regarding PTAC, please contact the PTAC Secretary at ptac@pharmac.govt.nz or +64 (0)4 916 7512.