1 April 2021: OIA response | Documents concerning medicines funding decisions 

1 April 2021

Dear [name and contact details withheld] 

REQUEST FOR INFORMATION 

Further to our response to you on 31 March 2021, we are writing to provide the remaining information relevant to your request. 

  • Any written documents (excluding emails, but including - but not limited to memos, aide memoir and briefings) prepared for the CEO or for the minister responsible concerning any funding decision for the medicine commonly known Keytruda since 2016.
  • Any written documents (excluding emails, but including - but not limited to memos, aide memoir and briefings) prepared by officials for the CEO or for the minister responsible concerning any funding decisions for Hepatitis C treatments commonly known as Maviret, Viekia Pak and Harvoni since 2015. 

Documents concerning funding decisions for pembrolizumab (Keytruda)

A combined copy of documents concerning funding decisions for Keytruda is included with this response (Appendix 2). 

Documents concerning funding decisions for Hepatitis C treatments (Maviret, Viekira Pak and Harvoni)

A combined copy of documents concerning funding decisions for Hepatitis C treatments is included with this response (Appendix 3). 

Release of information under the OIA

Please note that PHARMAC approaches its assessment of requests for information under the OIA on the basis that, once released, the information becomes publicly available - in other words once we release the information to you it becomes available to any other party in that exact form (whether by you distributing it to others or by virtue of us receiving the same request from a different third party).

We have redacted some information we considered out of scope of your request from the documents provided to ensure the information you have requested is easily identifiable and accessible. We have also redacted a small amount of information from the documents attached where we consider this is necessary to:

  • protect the privacy of natural persons (section 9(2)(a))
  • protect information where the making available of the information would be likely to unreasonably prejudice the commercial position of the person who supplied or who is the subject of the information (section 9(2)(b)(ii))
  • protect information which is subject to an obligation of confidence or which any person has been or could be compelled to provide under the authority of any enactment, where the making available of the information would be likely to prejudice the supply of similar information, or information from the same source, and it is in the public interest that such information should continue to be supplied (section 9(2)(ba)(i))
  • maintain legal professional privilege (section 9(2)(h)); and
  • enable PHARMAC to carry on, without prejudice or disadvantage, negotiations, including commercial negotiations (section 9(2)(j)).

As required under the OIA, we also considered whether, in the circumstances, the withholding of this information was outweighed by other considerations which render it desirable, in the public interest, to make this information available.  In this case we did not consider that the public interest outweighed the reasons for withholding the information. 

Please note you have the right, by way of complaint under section 28(3) of the OIA to an Ombudsman, to seek an investigation and review of our decision.

We trust that this information answers your queries. We are making our information more freely available, so we will now publish selected OIA responses (excluding personal details) on our website. Please get in touch with us if you have any questions about this.

Yours sincerely

Rachel Read
Manager, Policy and Government Services