Consumer, nursing, and allied health appointments to advisory network

Update Kauneke Update

Pharmac has appointed consumer members to its specialist advisory committees, as well nursing and allied health members to its wider advisory network.


Bringing in consumer, nursing, and allied health experts into these committees will strengthen Pharmac’s understanding of the viewpoints of those both using and administering medicines, vaccines, and medical devices.

In November 2021, new Terms of Reference for both the Pharmacology and Therapeutics Advisory Committee (PTAC) and specialist advisory committees were introduced. This change meant these committees could appoint consumer members to offer first-hand experience and increase the input of consumer voice across Pharmac’s work.

In late 2022, Pharmac’s Board approved the appointment of three consumer members to its specialist advisory committees. The consumer members are Adibah Khan, Chris Pihema, and Sarah McLean-Orsborn.

These additions follow the appointment of Dr Robyn Manuel (Te Rarawa, Ngāti Kahu, Ngāti Kurī and Te Aupōuri), a consumer and member of our Consumer Advisory Committee, to PTAC in July 2022.

“We’re absolutely delighted to be able to hear consumer perspectives as part of our advisory committees,” says Pharmac’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr David Hughes.

“We can learn so much from those with direct experience of living with illness and engaging with the health system to access care and treatment. Their perspectives will be invaluable in our funding decisions.”

This month, Pharmac has also appointed nursing and allied health experts to its specialist advisory committees, so it can strengthen Pharmac’s understanding of the viewpoints of those prescribing and administering medicines and medical devices.

“These appointments will bring a new level of insights to our advisory networks,” says Dr Hughes. “It’s vital that we have the perspectives of people at the forefront of prescribing, implementing, and distributing medicines, vaccines and medical devices.

“Diversity of background, type of expertise, and area of practice are hugely important to getting a well-rounded advisory network.

“Choosing which treatments to fund is a difficult task. Hearing directly and learning from consumers, as well as receiving high-quality advice from a range of clinical perspectives, really helps us to make sure we are making the best-informed decisions we can,” says Dr Hughes.

This story is part of our new Kauneke Update 

The Kauneke update will keep you informed on important news and progress towards Te Pātaka Whaioranga – Pharmac's strategic goals. In te reo Māori, kauneke means to develop and move forward.