OIA response about Official complaints

OIA response

The number of complaints received by PHARMAC about funding.

11 June 2020

[Name and contact details withheld]

Dear [Name withheld]


Thank you for your email of 4 May 2020, asking for information about complaints received by PHARMAC each year for the last five years.  On 15 May you clarified that your request was for the number of complaints received by PHARMAC about funding - i.e. medicines/devices that have and have not been subsidised by PHARMAC, and exceptional circumstances applications. 

PHARMAC responds to all enquiries received from healthcare professionals and the public on our 0800 line and via email enquiry@pharmac.govt.nz,  some of which are of a complaints nature.  However, PHARMAC does not have a formal complaints process.  As such, your request to be provided with the numbers of complaints received by PHARMAC, about funding, for each of the last five years, is refused under section 18(g)(i) of the OIA, as the information requested is not held by PHARMAC.

Our records show the number of complaints that have been formally referred to PHARMAC by the following agencies over the last five years are:

  • Office of the Ombudsman – 11 complaints
  • Human Rights Commission – 5 complaints
  • Health & Disability Commission – 1 complaint
  • Office of the Privacy Commissioner – no complaints

You may also like to contact these agencies for information about specific complaints they may have received in relation to PHARMAC.

Your request for this information has been considered under the Official Information Act 1982 (the Act).  Please note you have the right, by way of complaint under section 28(3) of the Act to an Ombudsman, to seek an investigation and review of our decision in respect of your request.

Thank you again for writing.

Yours sincerely 

Rachel Read
Manager, Policy and Government Services