Pharmacology and Therapeutics Advisory Committee (PTAC)

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

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Last updated:

6 December 2021: Membership updated to remove Sean Hanna. 

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
    MBChB, FANZCA, FFPMANZCA
  • 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
  • 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
  • Simon Wynn Thomas  General Practitioner
    BMedSci (UK), MRCP (UK), MRCGP (UK), DFFP, FRNZCGP

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:

16 August 2021

18 and 19 November 2021*

8 November 2021

17 and 18  February 2022

21 February 2022

19 and 20 May 2022

23 May 2022

18 and 19 August 2022

22 August 2022

17 and 18 November 2022

* 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).

November 2021 PTAC meeting

Applications reviewed at this PTAC meeting were:

  • Daratumumab in combination with bortezomib, cyclophosphamide and dexamethasone for the treatment of newly diagnosed systemic light chain (AL) amyloidosis
  • Lanthanum carbonate for CKD
  • Upadacitinib for atopic dermatitis
  • Elexacaftor/tezacaftor/ivacaftor for treatment of cystic fibrosis patients aged 6 years and older with at least one F508del mutation in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene

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.