Spend on rare disorders medicines funded through the 2014 request for proposals (RFP)

OIA response

Thank you for your request dated 10 December 2021 under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA) for information relating to funding for rare disorders treatments. You asked: 

Of the $5m of annual funding allocated to the Contestable Fund for Medicines for Rare Disorders announces in July 2014, how much of this allocation was spent, by year, over the duration of the pilot. 

I have provided information to respond to your request below. 

In 2014, Pharmac sought requests for funding proposals (RFP) for rare disorders medicines through a contestable commercial process. This was referred to as a ‘pilot process’ with the aim of improving people’s access to medicines for rare disorders. This was the first time Pharmac used an RFP process for rare disorders medicines.  As a result, 10 new medicines were funded. 

While we didn't continue with the RFP approach, the pilot informed our current policy principles and settings which have been in place since 2018. Details of the history of, and current approach for, funding rare disorders medicines can be found on our website: Funding for rare disorders

The gross funding spent on medicines funded each financial year[1] through the 2014 RFP pilot process is listed below. 

Table 1: Gross funding spent per financial year on medicines funded via the 2014 RFP process

Financial year Gross spend (NZD) Patients Medicines dispensed
2015/16 295,265 23 4
2016/17 835,357 30 5
2017/18 1,040,833 36 4
2018/19 1,395,515 41 4
2019/20 1,686,873 42 5

Please note, the funding spent on medicines from the 2014 RFP does not account for all funding spent on rare disorders medicines. Other rare disorders medicines have been funded outside of the 2014 RFP process (through the Pharmaceutical Schedule or through the Named Patient Pharmaceutical Application (NPPA) process).

The table below provides a full summary of the gross funding spent on rare disorders medicines through all Pharmac funding mechanisms. 

Table 2: Gross funding spent per financial year on rare disorders medicines

Financial year Mechanism Gross spend (NZD) Patients Medicines dispensed
2015/16 Schedule 2014 RFP medicines 295,265 23 4
other medicines 2,648,268 138 17
NPPA medicines 1,678,968 125 69
Total 4,622,502 286 90
2016/17 Schedule 2014 RFP medicines 835,357 30 5
other medicines 2,610,254 222 16
NPPA medicines 2,185,530 152 76
Total 5,631,142 404 97
2017/18 Schedule 2014 RFP medicines 1,040,833 36 4
other medicines 2,708,580 215 16
NPPA medicines 2,167,627 159 77
Total 5,917,039 410 97
2018/19 Schedule 2014 RFP medicines 1,395,515 41 4
other medicines 3,905,970 261 18
NPPA medicines 2,169,196 154 60
Total 7,470,682 456 82
2019/20 Schedule 2014 RFP medicines 1,686,873 42 5
other medicines 4,352,103 248 15
NPPA medicines 2,445,382 136 61
Total 8,484,358 426 81

 Please note that due to continued (and ongoing) refinement and standardisation of our methodologies for identifying and reporting this information, there have been some small adjustments to the figures reported here versus the corresponding information that has been previously published. 

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. 

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