PHARMAC in negotiations over rare disorders medicines

Media release Medicines

PHARMAC is in active negotiations with several suppliers as a result of its competitive process for rare disorders medicines.

On the eve of World Rare Diseases Day, PHARMAC has announced that 28 proposals from eight suppliers emerged from its request for proposals, issued late last year.

Chief Executive Steffan Crausaz says from those proposals, PHARMAC has constructed a priority funding list and is currently in active negotiations with several suppliers.

“We were very pleased with the response from suppliers,” says Steffan Crausaz. “The whole idea of this process was that we could promote competition and produce lower prices than we had previously seen. This in turn would enable us to improve people’s access to these medicines, and lead to better health outcomes.”

“This was a very positive process with good buy-in from pharmaceutical companies. What we saw were proposals for medicines that we hadn’t seen before, suppliers who hadn’t been active in New Zealand before, and new proposals for products which had previously not been progressed for funding.”

Steffan Crausaz says PHARMAC identified that a lack of competition was as a barrier to better access to medicines for rare disorders. PHARMAC identified up to $5 million per year for the next five years that could be available for funding a rare disorders contestable pilot, and sought proposals from suppliers in August 2014.

Steffan Crausaz says working through the list of products PHARMAC wants to fund from the rare disorders process is expected to take several months. Each medicine funding proposal will be subject to public consultation.  First decisions are likely to be made in mid-2015.

PHARMAC will evaluate the process once it is completed before deciding whether to run the process again.