Pharmacology and Therapeutics Advisory Committee (PTAC)

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

On this page

20 March 23: Record of November meeting of PTAC 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 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. 

Read more about our 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
  • Rhiannon Braund (Deputy Chair) – Clinical Pharmacist
    PhD, BPharm, BSc (Biochemistry), FPS, FNZCP
  • Brian Anderson – Anaesthesia & Intensive Care Medicine Specialist
    MBChB, Dip Obst, FANZCA, FCICM, PhD
  • Elizabeth Dennett – General Surgery - Colorectal
    BMedSci, MBChB, GradDipMed, MMedSci, MAppMgt(Hlth), FRACS, FASCRS
  • Alan Fraser  Gastroenterologist
  • Bruce King  Specialist Internal Medicine and Nephrology 
  • Robyn Manuel – Consumer Member
    PhD, Te Rarawa, Ngāti Kahu, Ngāti Kurī and Te Aupōuri
  • Jennifer Martin  Clinical Pharmacologist
    MBChB, MA(Oxon.), FRACP, PhD
  • Stephen Munn  Transplant Surgeon
  • Giles Newton-Howes – Psychiatrist
    BA, BSc, MBChB, MRCPsych, PostDip BD, FRANZCP
  • Lisa Stamp  Internal Medicine and Rheumatology
    MBChB, FRACP, PhD, PGCertStratLdrship
  • Matthew Strother  Medical Oncologist
  • Simon Wynn Thomas  General Practitioner

Read the announcement of the appointment of a new chair (November 2021)

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.

Read more about 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. 

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:
25 November 2022 16 and 17 February 2023
23 February 2023  18 and 19 May 2023
25 May 2023  17 and 18 August 2023
24 August 2023  16 and 17 November 2023

February 2023 PTAC meeting

Applications reviewed at the February PTAC meeting were (links to Application Tracker):

Records of PTAC meetings

Who to contact

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