22 February 2021: OIA response | Lamotrigine external media correspondence

22 February 2021 

Dear [name and contact details withheld] 

REQUEST FOR INFORMATION 

Thank you again for your request dated 11 January 2021 under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA) for information relating to lamotrigine. 

Further to our response to you on 15 February 2021, please find a copy of external media correspondence PHARMAC received and responded to which mentions the terms lamotrigine, Logem or the epilepsy funded brand switch. 

When PHARMAC receives a media enquiry, our communications adviser(s) often talk face to face or over the phone with the relevant PHARMAC staff member to prepare a response. Once a draft response has been prepared, it is forwarded to the appropriate staff member for review within the document before it goes through our approval process. A lot of the time we can also answer enquiries without seeking information from staff. For this reason, we don’t have internal chains of communication related to your request however, we have provided copies of internal media enquiry documents prepared for responses where applicable. 

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 a small amount of information from the documents released as we consider this is necessary to protect the privacy of natural persons (section 9(2)(a)). 

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