Declining inactive funding applications

When and how Pharmac declines funding applications.


We are providing more clarity about which treatments we are actively considering for funding by making decisions on applications that are inactive. 'Inactive’ means that we are not actively undertaking any work to progress the application.

We used to keep inactive funding applications open on our books, whether we could fund them or not. We did this in case we got new information about them that might change our choices.

New Zealanders told us that this was confusing and frustrating. People want Pharmac to make final decisions, even if this means declining the application.

When to decline an application

We’re currently working through inactive applications to consider whether we should decline them. Once this work is finished, it will be clearer which applications we're actively working on to fund.

Funding applications may be inactive for a few reasons. We decline applications when:

  • our expert clinical advisors have recommended that the funding application be declined
  • other medicines for the same condition are now funded making the funding application no longer relevant
  • our expert clinical advisors have recommended that the medicine would provide no additional benefits over other treatments we already fund, or it may be harmful
  • no company is willing to supply the medicine in New Zealand.

We do not decline a funding application lightly. Before we decline any application, we consult with health professionals, patient groups, and suppliers.

Declined applications

Since 2019, we have proposed to decline 305 applications over 6 consultations. After feedback on our proposals, Pharmac has declined 180 applications. The other applications remain under consideration for funding.

Previously inactive applications have remained on Pharmac's books, despite being unlikely to be approved for funding. This has caused confusion as to whether they would be funded and frustration at the lack of clarity. 

Most recent consultation

18 December 2023 – Proposal to decline inactive funding applications [closed]

No decisions have been announced. We are still considering the feedback received.

Decisions on earlier consultations:

7 November 2023 | Decision to decline inactive application

8 March 2022 | Decision to decline inactive applications

15 March 2021 | Decision to decline inactive applications

20 February 2020 | Decision to decline inactive applications

22 July 2019 | Decision to decline inactive applications

12 December 2013 | Notification to decline funding for eculizumab 

Definition of "an application"

An application is a request to fund a medicine to treat a specific condition. Some medicines have more than one application, each one to treat a different condition or for a different use. We may decline to fund a medicine for some conditions but keep it on the list for a different use. We rely on clinical advice to inform these decisions. 

Learn more

We keep the status of all applications up-to-date in Application Tracker. You can search for any application you're interested in and see where it's at.