OIA Response: University of Auckland communications

Request dated 7 June 2019 under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA) for information relating to various communications between PHARMAC and third parties.

16 July 2019

[Name and contact details redacted]

Dear [Name redacted]

REQUEST FOR INFORMATION

Thank you for your request dated 7 June 2019 under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA) for information relating to various communications between PHARMAC and third parties as specified below. 

We emailed you on 3 July 2019, extending the timeframe for our response until 18 July 2019 to allow for consultation. Your request was:

  1. All communication between Pharmac and Keith Petrie and Kate McKrill for the period March 2015 to December 2016
  2. All communication between Pharmac and any member of the University of Auckland during the period January 2010 to date regarding any form, dosage or brand of Venlafaxine
  3. All communication between Pharmac and any member of the Auckland University about the Nocebo/placebo effect
  4. All communication between Atlantis Health Care Ltd and Pharmac in relation to research, and the nocebo/placebo effect from 2012 to date

Question 1. We have already provided a response to this request in respect of your request dated 13 November 2018, which we responded to on 30 January 2019.

Questions 2 and 3. Please find attached [PDF, 103 KB] the information requested. We have not included information that has already been sent to you in response to your previous requests.

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)). Please note the attachment referred to in the email of 20 November 2019 in the attached document was provided to you in our response (5 July 2019) to your request dated 24 May 2019.

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.

Question 4. We do not hold any information that is within the scope of your request. We have not discussed with or undertaken any research with Atlantis Health Care Ltd about the nocebo/placebo effect. This part of your request is refused under section 18(g) of the OIA as the information is not held by PHARMAC, and we have no reason to believe it is held by another agency.

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).

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

[Alison Hill's signature]

Alison Hill
Director, Engagement and Implementation