PHARMAC seeking community views on changes to funding application process

Media release Medicines Hospital devices

PHARMAC’s decisions affect nearly all New Zealanders, and the Government pharmaceutical funding agency is asking people to help it make some changes to how medicine and medical devices funding applications are made.

“If you or someone in your family has received a funded medicine, then PHARMAC has touched your life,” says Chief Executive Steffan Crausaz. “Now we’re giving people an opportunity to talk to us about their experiences, and some changes we’re proposing to the process we use for considering applications for the Pharmaceutical Schedule.”

PHARMAC gets applications from a wide range of people, for a variety of medicines and soon it expects to be asked about funding particular medical devices. In its upcoming public meetings and consultation, PHARMAC will also consult on proposed administrative changes to its applications process to meet the Government’s obligations under the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

These changes will not change the fundamentals of the PHARMAC model. They comprise setting a timeframe for considering funding applications, and establishing a specific review process for funding applications that PHARMAC has declined. The TPP-related proposed amendments would only take effect when TPP enters into force for New Zealand.

“We’re using this opportunity to also propose some other improvements to make it easier for people to make funding applications, and to find out more about the progress of an application,” he says.

In September and October 2016, PHARMAC will be visiting 14 towns across New Zealand as part of a community consultation on changes that we'll also be seeking written submissions on through the PHARMAC website.

Steffan Crausaz says it is important all community voices have their say in the discussion.

“We’re looking forward to meeting people across the country and getting their feedback on how we’re doing,” says Steffan Crausaz. “We think these proposed changes would improve how people interact with us through the funding process.

“We encourage people to come to one of our forums and tell us what they think about the changes we’re proposing. We’re also really interested to hear how we’re doing and what we can do to keep improving and getting the best health outcomes for New Zealanders.”

Register online for PHARMAC forums

To talk to us in person, register for one of the 14 community forums we’re holding.


A consultation document, ‘PHARMAC’s Implementation of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) provisions and other Amendments to Application Processes’, will be published in early September.


Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) implementation and other proposed changes