Pharmac's role in the response to COVID-19

Since the pandemic began, Pharmac has been working to support the team of 5 million's response to COVID-19.

Our role has evolved with the country's COVID-19 response. We continue to support the health sector and the people of Aotearoa New Zealand to access funded medicines.

Key actions included: 

  • changing funding criteria for some medicines to support the health sector during the first lockdown when they couldn't see their patients
  • reviewing requests from 100s of clinicians to change funding criteria or fund new medicines
  • working with Ministry of Health to extend thousands of Special Authorities so people didn't have to see a clinician to continue accessing their medicine
  • supporting suppliers to ensure all medicines were available for people that needed them
  • ensuring DHB hospitals had access to the critical care medicines they need
  • negotiating access to COVID-19 treatments for New Zealand 
  • being part of the team that brokered deals for COVID-19 vaccines and implementing the vaccine rollout

Read more

Our most visible work at the moment is the sourcing and funding of COVID-19 treatments.

Portfolio of COVID-19 treatments we're building

We have received many requests for more information about our COVID-19 response. Search for "Covid" in our Official Information Act responses.

Official Information Act responses

We made changes to the Schedule to help the health sector during the initial Level 4 lockdown. You can read the full decision outlining the changes we made temporarily and permanently.

Decision on Schedule changes made in response to COVID-19

Stay in the loop with our media releases

COVID-19 related media releases