Combined Pharmaceutical Budget (CPB) and COVID-19 allocations and appropriations over past 10 years (since 2011/12)

OIA response

Thank you for your request dated 9 March 2022 under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA) for information relating to the Combined Pharmaceutical Budget (CPB). You requested: 

  • The total annual value of the Combined Pharmaceutical Budget developed by PHARMAC over the last 10 years.
  • Any new funding made available annually to PHARMAC for the Combined Pharmaceutical Budget by Government over the last 10 years.
  • Annual appropriations by PHARMAC of the Combined Pharmaceutical Budget over the last 10 years.
  • The amount of funding the Combined Pharmaceutical Budget obtained for specific use in response to COVID-19 in the past three years, and the appropriation of this funding by purpose and sum.
  • Transfers of funding from other health sector services to the Combined Pharmaceutical Budget in the past 10 years, by year and amount. 

I am pleased to advise that most of the information you have requested is already publicly available within documents published to the Pharmac website. For your ease of reference, I have provided links below to where the documents are published:

Joint Pharmac and District Health Board recommendation letters from 2015 to 2020 to the Minister of Health regarding the pharmaceutical budget bid.

Pharmac’s Annual Reports from first year of establishment containing financial statements and summary of medicines spending/pharmaceutical expenditure for the financial year including: gross cost, number of new medicines funded, and number of medicines with access widened. 

Additionally, I have provided a table detailing the annual Combined Pharmaceutical Budget (CPB) and medicine expenditure figures since 2011/12, and recent CPB COVID-19 budget allocations at the end of this letter. Additional funding for COVID-19 treatments and medical devices has been received but is not part of the CPB, therefore it has not been included within the table provided.

From time-to-time, the Government allocates additional funding to the CPB to fund more medicines for New Zealanders. For example, in September 2019 the Government announced an extra $60 million in funding(external link) ($20 million 2019/20 and $40 million in 2020/21). This boost is included in the CPB figures provided in the table below. 

Please note, the funding for COVID-19 treatments is managed separately from the Combined Pharmaceutical Budget. The Government has allocated separate ring-fenced funding to support the CPB for use for costs related to COVID-19, including medicine costs, supply chain costs, assuring supply and purchasing of alternative products. 

Finally, please find a list of all new investment and access widening decisions that Pharmac made from 1 July 2011 to 31 December 2021 attached with this response letter. 

I 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.

Table: Combined Pharmaceutical Budget (CPB) and budget allocations for COVID-19 since 2011/12

Financial year[1] CPB
($ million)
Report DHB expenditure
($ million)
COVID-19 cost pressures budget
($ million)[2],[3]
2011/12 777.4 777.4 N/A
2012/13 783.6 783.6 N/A
2013/14 795  795 N/A
2014/15 795  795 N/A
2015/16 800  800 N/A
2016/17 849.6  849.6 N/A
2017/18 870.8  870.8 N/A
2018/19 985 985 N/A
2019/20 1,040 1,040 35
2020/21 1,045 1,045 64
2021/22* 1,085 N/A 76

 *Current financial year

[1] Pharmac's financial year runs from 1 July to 30 June.

[2] There has been a level of carry over between the years (it was agreed that $10 million could be carried over from 2019/20 to 2020/21, it was also agreed that funding paid to DHBs of $24.6 million could be carried forward from 2020/21 to 2021/22). $24 million was returned to COVID-19 funds in 2020/21. Payments relating COVID-19 cost pressures are made to DHBs.

[3] This funding is to ensure the continuity of supply of medicines in response to global supply issues caused by COVID-19.