OIA Response: Vaccine costs

Request dated 8 April 2019  for information relating to vaccine costs in New Zealand.

[Name and contact details redacted]

9 May 2019

Dear [Name redacted]

REQUEST FOR INFORMATION

Thank you for your request dated 8 April 2019 under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA) for information relating to vaccines in New Zealand.

In our view, it would have been necessary under section 14 of the OIA to transfer the last three questions of your request to the Ministry of Health because we believe that the information you requested is more closely connected with the Ministry of Health’s functions. However, we are aware that you have also sent your request to the Ministry of Health, and therefore we have not transferred it.

Accordingly, we have considered the following two questions:

  • What is the cost per unit of each vaccine given in New Zealand?
  • Is there an estimate of how much each incidence of vaccine-preventable illness costs the public health system in New Zealand (on average)?

What is the cost per unit of each vaccine given in New Zealand?

We have interpreted your request to mean the price per dose of each publicly funded vaccine in New Zealand. In this respect please find the information requested in the table below.

Please note the information provided is the manufacturers’ price and does not reflect the actual confidential price PHARMAC has agreed with any vaccine supplier.

Accordingly, certain information has been withheld, as we consider this necessary to:

  • protect information where the making available of the information would be likely to unreasonably to prejudice the commercial position of the person who supplied or who is the subject of the information (section 9(2)(b)(ii));
  • protect information which is subject to an obligation of confidence or which any person has been or could be compelled to provide under the authority of any enactment, where the making available of the information would be likely to prejudice the supply of similar information, or information from the same source, and it is in the public interest that such information should continue to be supplied (section 9(2)(ba)(i)); and
  • enable PHARMAC to carry on, without prejudice or disadvantage, negotiations, including commercial negotiations (section 9(2)(j)).

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.

Vaccine

Manufacturer’s Price

dTap (Boostrix) 1x dose

$25.00

Tetanus-diphtheria  Adult (ADT booster)

$16.97

BCG Vaccine +diluent

$9.995

DTaP-IPV (Infanrix-IPV)

$40.00

Engerix-B

$19.50

Gardasil9

$141.50

Havrix

$63.80

Havrix Junior

$35.00

Hiberix

$20.00

HBvaxPro 10mcg

$19.50

HBvaxPro 40mcg

$40.00

HBvaxPro 5mcg

$10.00

Infanrix-Hexa 

$130.00

IPOL (Inactivated polio vaccine)

$40.00

Menactra

$89.95

NeisVac-C

$50.00

Pneumovax 23

$40.00

Prevenar 13

$145.00

Priorix

$25.00

Rotarix

$40.00

Synflorix

$140.00

Tuberculin PPD (Mantoux) 

$5.00

Varilrix

$50.00

Zostavax

$152.40

Is there an estimate of how much each incidence of vaccine-preventable illness costs the public health system in New Zealand (on average)?

PHARMAC is unable to provide the information in the form you have requested and, on this basis, this part of your request has been refused under section 18(g) of the OIA, as the information is not held by PHARMAC. I have no grounds to believe that the information is either held by another department or Minister of the Crown or organisation, or by a local authority, or connected more closely with the functions of another department or Minister of the Crown or organisation, or of a local authority.

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.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us again.

Yours sincerely

[Alison Hill's signature]

Alison Hill
Director, Engagement and Implementation