Pharmac welcomes Interim Report

Media release

Pharmac accepts many of the observations made in the Interim Report and is already making changes to how it operates.

“We want to reassure New Zealanders that we are listening,” says chief executive Sarah Fitt.

“The transformation of Pharmac to be a more transparent, consumer and equity focused organisation is already underway. What is reassuring for us is that many of the areas the Review Committee have focused on are the same ones we are focused on.”

A year ago, Pharmac set a new strategic direction. The focus areas include:

  • making our everyday work faster, simpler and more transparent
  • increasing the public’s understanding, trust and confidence in the work we are doing
  • giving effect to Te Tiriti and advancing Māori health and aspirations
  • ensuring New Zealanders have equitable access to funded medicines
  • strengthening relationships and partnerships across the health sector and in the community

“We can understand some of the concerns raised by stakeholders and we are already working on many of the points highlighted,” says Sarah.

“We accept there is more we need to do to uphold Te Tiriti and integrate equity in all areas of our work. This is a challenge across the health sector but is incredibly important. 

Transparency is something that comes up throughout the report.

“We know New Zealanders want to learn more about our work and how we make funding decisions. We are working hard to improve our processes to be faster and clearer.”

“Because of the nature of our work – negotiating with large international pharmaceutical suppliers – we operate in a commercially sensitive environment which means we can’t always share as much information as we would like.”

“Having a fixed budget means will we have to continue to make difficult decisions on which medicines to fund.  What we are striving for is that people understand the decisions we make and have confidence we are making the best decisions.”

“We look forward to continuing to work with the Review Committee as they work towards finalising their report and recommendations,” concludes Sarah.