OIA response: Security of supply of medicines

Request regarding the potential for disruption to the supply of medicines due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

13 March 2020 

[name and contact details redacted] 

Dear [name redacted]

REQUEST FOR INFORMATION

Thank you for your email of 28 February 2020, asking about the potential for disruption to the supply of medicines due to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak. 

The Ministry of Health is providing the coordinated response to the Covid-19 outbreak in New Zealand.  All agencies in the public health sector, which includes PHARMAC, are currently working closely with the Ministry of Health to support its response planning. 

PHARMAC is maintaining a solid focus on the continuity of supply of funded pharmaceuticals used in New Zealand.  Our suppliers are actively managing their supply chains to maintain robust stock levels as best they can, and we maintain regular contact with them. We recognise, however, that there may be disruption to supplies of some pharmaceuticals during a widespread community outbreak of Covid-19.  PHARMAC will continue to support and work closely with its suppliers in the coming months to manage continuity of supply of funded medicines and medical devices.

Our website describes in greater detail the steps that PHARMAC is taking to manage continuity of pharmaceuticals supply, and the steps that will be taken if stock shortages arise during a Covid-19 outbreak, at: www.pharmac.govt.nz/information-for/coronavirus-corvid19/

I wish you well in the coming months, and a speedy recovery from your injury.

Yours sincerely 

Rachel Read
Policy Manager, Engagement and Implementation