26 March 2021: OIA response | Number of new patients dispensed dornase alfa and ivacaftor in 2020

26 March 2021 

Dear [name and contact details withheld]

REQUEST FOR INFORMATION

Thank you for your request dated 5 March 2021 under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA) for information relating to dispensed treatments for Cystic Fibrosis. You requested:

  1. The number of new patients that were first dispensed approved treatment with dornase alfa under Special Authority in 2020, reported by month
  2. The number of new patients that were first dispensed approved treatment with ivacaftor under Special Authority in 2020, reported by month

Please find the information requested included in the tables below.

Please note:

  • A ‘new patient’ has been defined as a person who has never been dispensed the specified medicine.
  • Numbers are for new patients who received medicines funded via Section B of the Pharmaceutical Schedule (Schedule) only.
  • Ivacaftor was listed to the Schedule from 1 March 2021. Access to funded ivacaftor prior to being listed was available from 1 March 2020 to 28 February 2021 via Exceptional Circumstances.

Table 1: New patients dispensed dornase alfa in 2020

Month

New patients

January

0

February

<10

March

<10

April

0

May

<10

June

<10

July

0

August

<10

September

<10

October

 <10

November

<10

December

<10

Total

21

Table 2: New patients dispensed ivacaftor in 2020

Month

New patients

January

0

February

0

March

13

April

<10

May

<10

June

<10

July

<10

August

<10

September

<10

October

0

November

<10

December

<10

Total

36

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). As there were fewer than 10 people dispensed dornase alfa or ivacaftor in most months, we have provided annual totals to assist with your request.

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 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