From the Chief Executive of Pharmac

Sarah Fitt is a middle aged white woman with a friendly smile. She has blonde hair that reaches her shoulders that is feathered nicely out from her head..

Nāu te rourou, nāku te rourou, ka ora ai te iwi.
With your food basket and my food basket, the people will thrive.

I would like to first acknowledge the many agencies, groups, and individuals who have shared their experiences and knowledge as part of the review. They have helped Pharmac better understand how we can support the health of all New Zealanders.

To everyone who has worked on this response, inside Pharmac, within the public service, and everyone outside who challenges us and helps us to be better, thank you.

To help develop our final response, we had important discussions with our colleagues at Te Whatu Ora (Health New Zealand), Te Aka Whai Ora (the Māori Health Authority), Manatū Hauora (Ministry of Health), the new Public Health Agency, Te Aho o Te Kahu (Cancer Control Agency), Health Quality and Safety Commission, Whaikaha (Ministry of Disabled People), and the Ministry for Pacific Peoples. These conversations are the building blocks for a more interconnected health and disability system.

Many of these agencies have been newly created as part of the health and disability reforms. It has been an opportune time for Pharmac to foster and grow these relationships. A new sense of community between these agencies is being built and I am confident this will support our collective aims of a more effective and connected health and disability system.

An important part of the review was acknowledging the parts where we need to improve, while accepting that the process of improvement never ends. The review also affirmed that we were moving in the right direction.

Preparing our response to the review has given fresh impetus to the changes we need to make to create better health outcomes for New Zealand. We have made 30 commitments for 2022/23. We also have reflected on our future priorities, our strengths, and areas for development, with our new organisational values, ngā uaratanga, helping us to imagine our future.

Four emergent priorities were identified in our interim response, which have evolved into the five priorities presented in this document. We will continue to consider and work on these as we develop our next Statement of Intent (SOI), to be published at the end of June 2023. This new SOI will detail the medium-term actions over the next four years and demonstrate how we will address the issues raised in the review and Government response. 

Outlining our path for the next four years will be another fundamental step towards building a more effective organisation, including a stronger focus on contributing to the health and disability system’s efforts to achieve health equity.

The introduction of the Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Act at the same time as the Pharmac review has created opportunities for us. While our statutory objective remains the same, and we remain an evidence-based organisation, how we do what we do is changing for the better.

No single part of the system can achieve Pae Ora alone. We are committed to supporting the reform’s early success, including the implementation of the interim Government Policy Statement on Health and the interim New Zealand Health Plan.

Finally, I’d like to offer my gratitude to the entire Pharmac team – our staff and advisory networks – for their hard work and perseverance over the course of the review. Responding to and working through a global pandemic has stretched our workforce and that of the wider health and disability system. Our strength lives in our people – staff wellbeing will continue to be a strong focus as we head into 2023.

Sarah Fitt
Chief Executive