From the Chair of the Pharmac Board

A serious looking older white man. He wears glasses and smart suit with a dark tie..
Steve Maharey

He rangi tā matawhāiti, he rangi tā matawhānui
A person with a narrow vision has a restricted horizon, a person with a wide vision has plentiful opportunities. 

This whakataukī speaks to the importance of a broad outlook and, as I introduce Pharmac’s final response to the Independent Review, I do so cognisant of the context within which this review occurred.

The past few years have stretched and tested the health systems of every country. Aotearoa New Zealand has not been immune to the impact of the global pandemic, and this year with the introduction of the Pae Ora (Health Futures) Act, the Government made once-in-a-generation changes to the health and disability system in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Pharmac extends a warm welcome to our newest health sector partners. We look forward to working closely with Te Whatu Ora (Health New Zealand), Te Aka Whai Ora (the Māori Health Authority), the new Public Health Agency, and Whaikaha (Ministry of Disabled People). We will also continue our strong relationship with Manatū Hauora (Ministry of Health), Te Aho o Te Kahu (Cancer Control Agency), and Medsafe.

In this new environment, strong bonds and a shared vision will be key to ensuring the health and disability system delivers equitable health outcomes for all New Zealanders. The review also reminded us of the importance of engaging with those most affected by our work.

Within the context of all this change, as well as the global challenges faced by everyone, an independent review of Pharmac was commissioned by the Government in March 2021.

In recent years, we had noticed a distinct change in our environment and public expectations of our work. The review reinforced this shift – and thus we welcomed the chance to reflect on how our priorities align with the wider health and disability system; especially in the context of the Pae Ora reforms. Our organisation strives to support the delivery of improved health outcomes for New Zealand. To better support and give action to this purpose, we recognised there were improvements to be made.

In responding to the review and the Government’s response, we have been working hard to continue delivering our core work, build on the delivery of our existing priorities, and beginning to make the changes we want to make to reset for the future.

As the health reforms settle in, we will be learning and adjusting how we tackle the work identified in the review. While we can make a strong start on the foundations, the new framework is only part-built; some of what we need to do in the future is yet to be finalised in the context of the wider system and more health strategies are to come. This broad-outlook approach is crucial to ensuring that we stay in step with the health and disability sector as it implements these reforms.

This final response describes our intent and outlines the implications of what we intend to achieve, including what our expanded role needs regarding resources, collaboration, and engagement. I am heartened by the work done so far and look forward to our further progress ahead

Hon Steve Maharey 
Pharmac Board Chair