Information about the decision to fund remdesivir for COVID-19

OIA response

Dear [name and contact details withheld] 

Request for information 

Thank you for your request dated 23 September 2021 under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA) for information relating to our decision to fund remdesivir for the treatment of COVID-19. You requested: 

All information on Pharmac's decision to fund Remdesivir for the treatment of COVID-19

Please find documents about the decision to fund remdesivir attached with this letter. 

Please note, there is no minute of the decision to approve the memo of September 2020 for the procurement of emergency stock of remdesivir for use in New Zealand as the decision was granted by electronic approval of the memo. The minute of the decision to approve the memo for the procurement of additional stock of remdesivir for use in New Zealand, dated September 2021, is included with the documents released. 

Additionally, please note that we approach our assessment of requests for information under the OIA on the basis that once we release the information to you it becomes available to any other party in that exact form (whether by you distributing it to others or by virtue of us receiving the same request from a different third party). 

We have redacted a small amount of information from, or withheld, documents where we consider this is necessary to:

  • protect the privacy of natural persons (section 9(2)(a))
  • protect information where the making available of the information would be likely to unreasonably prejudice the commercial position of the person who supplied or who is the subject of the information (section 9(2)(b)(ii))
  • protect information which is subject to an obligation of confidence or which any person has been or could be compelled to provide under the authority of any enactment, where the making available of the information would be likely to prejudice the supply of similar information, or information from the same source, and it is in the public interest that such information should continue to be supplied (section 9(2)(ba)(i))
  • enable Pharmac to carry on, without prejudice or disadvantage, negotiations, including commercial negotiations (section 9(2)(j)).

As required under the OIA, we also considered whether, in the circumstances, the withholding of this information was outweighed by other considerations which render it desirable, in the public interest, to make this information available.  In this case we did not consider that the public interest outweighed the reasons for withholding the information. 

Please note you have the right, by way of complaint under section 28(3) of the OIA to an Ombudsman, to seek an investigation and review of our decision.

We trust that this information answers your queries. We are making our information more freely available, so we now publish selected OIA responses (excluding personal details) on our website. Please get in touch with us if you have any questions about this.

Yours sincerely

Rachel Read
Manager, Policy and Government Services