18 March 2021: OIA response | New patients dispensed alectinib in 2020

18 March 2021 

Dear [name and contact details withheld]

REQUEST FOR INFORMATION

Thank you for your request dated 25 February 2021 under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA) for information relating to alectinib. You requested:

The number of new patients (patients starting treatment) that were first dispensed approved treatment with alectinib under Special Authority in 2020, reported by the individual month

Please find the information requested included in the table below.

Please note:

  • A ‘new patient’ has been defined as a person who has never had the specified medicine dispensed to them before and had their first dispensing on or after having a Special Authority approved for funded access to alectinib.
  • Numbers are for new patients who received alectinib dispensed in community pharmacies only. 

New patients dispensed alectinib under approved Special Authority in 2020

Month

New patients

Quarter

New patients

January

<10

Q1

17

February

<10

March

<10

April

<10

Q2

12

May

<10

June

<10

July

<10

Q3

13

August

<10

September

<10

October

<10

Q4

<10

November

<10

December

<10

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).

Where fewer than 10 people received a dispensed medicine, we have changed the number shown to "<10" as we believe this is necessary to protect the privacy of these people (section 9(2)(a) of the OIA). As there were fewer than 10 people dispensed alectinib each month, we have provided quarterly totals to assist with your request.

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