OIA Response: Medical cannabis meetings

Request dated 12 June 2019 under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA) for information relating to meetings about medical cannabis.

10 July 2019

[Name and contact details redacted]

Dear [Name redacted]

REQUEST FOR INFORMATION

Thank you for your request dated 12 June 2019 under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA) for information relating to meetings about medical cannabis.  Your request was:

I would like to request, under the Official Information Act. All records of meetings with Pharmac staff and international medical cannabis company representatives in the past three months. 

I would also like to request all correspondence between Pharmac officials and international medical cannabis company employees and all internal correspondence pertaining to these meetings. 

This includes but is not limited to Cara Therapeutics, GW Pharmaceuticals, Corbus Pharmaceuticals, AbbVie, Zynerba, Katexco Pharmaceuticals, Serina Therapeutics, Botanix, InsysTherapeutics, CanniMed Therapeutics, Arcadia Biosciences, and Tikun Olam.

We have interpreted your request to relate to meetings and correspondence regarding medicinal cannabis.  A number of suppliers of medicinal cannabis also supply other pharmaceuticals; we have not considered meetings or correspondence with such suppliers regarding other products to be within scope of your request.

We previously advised you on 26 June 2019 that we didn’t hold any information within the scope of your request. We then advised you that we did have information that we consider within scope of your request, which is attached [PDF, 147 KB].

We have redacted a small amount of information from the attached document as we consider this is necessary to protect the privacy of natural persons (section 9(2)(a)).

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.

We have also redacted information that is outside the scope of your request as it related to other products.

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). 

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

[Alison Hill's signature]

Alison Hill
Director, Engagement and Implementation