Pharmac’s Year in Review

Media release

Today Pharmac has released its Year in Review for 2021, an annual publication highlighting key aspects of the agency’s work throughout the year.

“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,” says Chief Executive Sarah Fitt.

Pharmac is committed to improving the way it operates, internally and as a key part of New Zealand’s health system. This will include changes and lessons arising from the independent review of Pharmac currently underway. 

“The Year in Review illustrates how we strive towards our goal to make more medicines and medical devices available for more New Zealanders,” says Sarah. “It also showcases who we are, how we fit into the wider health and disability sector, and how we are evolving as an organisation.”

Features include how Pharmac is securing treatments for COVID-19 and managing supply disruptions, what the agency learnt from the lamotrigine brand change, and how ethnicity-based Special Authority criteria is increasing medicine access for Māori and Pacific peoples.

There is a simple explainer of the funding application process and an interview with the first female and Māori Chair of the Pharmacology and Therapeutics Advisory Committee – plus a whole lot more, including Pharmac's Top 20 medicines for 2021.

“We work with a huge range of stakeholders from individual patients to international suppliers,” says Sarah.  “I would like to thank everyone we work with for enabling Pharmac to get the best health outcomes from New Zealand’s investment in medicines and medical devices.”

You can find the Year in Review on the Pharmac website: pharmac.govt.nz/2021

Pharmac's Year in Numbers (from 2020/21)

  • 77 million – New Zealanders who received funded medicines
  • 45,346 – Estimated number of people benefitting from new medicines funded
  • $1.045 billion – Budget spent on medicines (Combined Pharmaceutical Budget)
  • $29.5 million – Money freed up from negotiations to reinvest in medicines
  • 13 – Number of new medicines funded
  • 19 – Number of medicines with widened access
  • 140,000 – Total items for hospital medical devices under national contracts