Communications about proposals to fund Trikafta, Keytruda, and Tecentriq
Thank you for your request dated 10 March 2023 under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA) for information relating to the proposals to fund cystic fibrosis treatment elexacaftor with tezacaftor and ivacaftor (Trikafta) and immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) pembrolizumab (Keytruda) and atezolizumab (Tecentriq). You requested:
all communications to, from and within Pharmac; communication plans or strategies; memos; notes of conversations; phone logs, social media messages including What's App and/or briefings, relating to the proposal to fund Trikafta, Keytruda and Tecentriq dating between 1 December 2022 to date.
This should include all communications with Pharmac staff, Pharmac board members, external consultants, journalists, media organisations, patients, patient groups and pharma companies.
We wrote to you on 17 March 2023, and followed-up on 27 March 2023, about refining your request for information. In our emails we noted that we are a small organisation, so requests for a broad range and/or large amount of information can cause substantial administrative burden. In your refined request of 27 March, you requested (highlight added to emphasise difference):
all communications to, from and within Pharmac; memos; notes of conversations; phone logs, social media messages including What's App and Snake, and/or briefings, relating to the proposal to fund Keytruda and Tecentriq from 16 December 2022 to 12 March 2023, and the same material relating to the proposal to fund Trikafta from 1 January to 12 March 2023.
Our response to your request for information
Your refined request still returns a substantial number of items that would need to be reviewed to identify the information you have requested. Therefore, we are partially declining your request for information under section 18(f) of the OIA. We have declined to provide all communications, such as emails and instant messages, etc., and notes of conversations as to do so would require substantial research and collation which would cause undue administrative burden to Pharmac.
However, to assist with your request, we have identified some key documents about the proposals which we are considering for release under the OIA. We need some more time to finish consultations necessary to make a decision on releasing these documents. Therefore, we have extended the due date for communicating a decision, as allowed under section 15A of the OIA, by a further 15 working days to 3 May 2023.
Please note, you have the right to make a complaint to the Ombudsman about our response to your OIA, under section 28(3) of the OIA. Details of how to make a complaint(external link) are on the Ombudsman’s website.
Additionally, some documents/information in scope of your request are/is already publicly available. For your ease of reference, I have included a summary below of the publicly available information/documents.
Publicly available information relating to the…
Proposal to fund Trikafta:
- Decision to fund elexacaftor with tezacaftor and ivacaftor (Trikafta) for people with cystic fibrosis (7 March 2023)
- Media release: Pharmac announces decision to fund Trikafta (7 March 2023)
- Pre- and post-announcement correspondence and comms planning for proposal to fund Trikafta from 1 to 12 December 2022 (21 February 2023)
- Proposal to fund elexacaftor with tezacaftor and ivacaftor (Trikafta) for people with cystic fibrosis (4 December 2022)
- Media release: Pharmac seeking feedback on funding Trikafta (4 December 2022)
- OIA response of 15 November 2022: No Surprises updates to Minister of Health regarding Trikafta
- OIA response of 30 March 2022: all correspondence between Pharmac and any Ministers of Parliament that mentions or has any relevance to the drug Trikafta.
- Records of the Pharmacology and Therapeutics Advisory Committee (PTAC) and Respiratory Advisory Committee meetings
- Excerpts of relevant advisory committee meeting records are published in the details of the Trikafta funding applications(external link) on our Application Tracker
- Technology Assessment Report (TAR) for Trikafta
- Search our website for more publicly available information about Trikafta(external link)
Proposal to fund pembrolizumab (Keytruda) and atezolizumab (Tecentriq):
- Decision to fund two new treatments for people with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (7 March 2023)
- Includes summary of consultation feedback themes and Pharmac’s responses
- Media release: Pharmac funds two new treatments for lung cancer (7 March 2023)
- Proposal to fund two new treatments for people with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (16 December 2022)
- Media release: Pharmac consulting on two new medicines for lung cancer (16 December 2022)
- Records of the Pharmacology and Therapeutics Advisory Committee (PTAC) and Cancer Treatments Advisory Committee meetings
- Excerpts of relevant advisory committee meeting records are published in the details of the respective funding applications on our Application Tracker(external link)
We will be in touch again soon with a decision about the key documents we are considering for release under the OIA.
To make information more freely available, we publish selected OIA responses (excluding personal details) on our website. Please get in touch with us if you have any questions about this.