Priority lists for funding applications

We get about 85 applications each year to fund different medicines and related products. These lists help us decide what to fund.

What are the priority lists?

There will always be more medicines and related products that we want to fund than we can afford. To help us decide which to fund first, we organise the funding applications we receive into 3 different lists:

  • options for investment
  • only if cost neutral or cost saving
  • recommended for decline.

You can find the latest version for each list on our Application Tracker.

As at 24 June 2024, there are 147 applications in our Options for Investment List

What is an “application”?

To fund a medicine or related product, we first need an application. This is a request to fund a medicine to treat a specific condition. Anyone can make an application, but most of them come from pharmaceutical companies.

A funding application is usually detailed and generally includes any clinical trials and a price offer. We use this information to robustly assess the application.

When looking at the 3 priority lists note:

  • some medicines are used to treat various conditions
  • a single medicine might have multiple applications (such as adalimumab(external link))
  • each application may be at a different stage of the funding process or on a different priority list.

Learn more about funding applications:

Follow the journey of a funding application

How we decide the priority of an application

How we get expert clinical advice

Options for investment

The options for investment list includes all applications that we would fund if the budget allowed it. We rank the applications on this list from highest to lowest priority using our decision-making framework, the Factors for Consideration. 

We keep the actual rankings on the list confidential for commercial reasons. This will ensure we can continue to negotiate the best prices for medicines so more New Zealanders can access the medicines they need. 

How we decide the priority of an application

Only if cost neutral or cost saving

This list records all the applications that we would fund if we negotiated a deal that saves money (or at least doesn't cost extra).

We use advice from our clinical experts to assess how an application compares to treatments we already fund. If we find no extra health benefits, we are likely to add the application to this list.

The only if cost neutral or cost saving list is not ranked in any order. Pharmac will negotiate with any supplier, at any time, that offers cost neutral or cost saving pricing.

Recommended for decline

The recommended for decline list includes medicines and related products that our expert clinical advisors have suggested we turn down.

There’s a range of reasons we might consider declining an application, including:

  • the medicine would provide no extra benefits over treatments we already fund
  • the medicine may be harmful
  • there is no supplier for the medicine.

Our process to decline applications