Te Pātaka Whaioranga – Pharmac Review

In March 2021, the Government announced an independent review of Te Pātaka Whaioranga – Pharmac.

“The review looked at how well we performed against our objectives and whether those objectives are fit for purpose,” says Chief Executive Sarah Fitt.

“It focused on a wide range of matters, including our functions, governance, assessment work, work to support priority populations, accountability arrangements, and decision-making.

“It found that our model delivered significant benefits, but these benefits needed to be shared more equitably across communities, especially Māori and Pacific communities and the disabled community.

“Preparing our response to the review has given us fresh impetus to the changes we need to make to create better health outcomes for New Zealand.”

In July, Pharmac worked with the health and disability system to release an interim response to the review. It focused on four priorities:

  • Enhanced assessment and decision-making
  • Doing more to achieve health equity
  • Te Tiriti excellence
  • Better involvement of and collaboration with others.

“None of these themes stands alone, each strand supports the other, and only woven together will they help us achieve better health outcomes for New Zealand,” says Sarah.

“We cannot achieve these ambitious commitments on our own. We must work closely with our health and disability system partners. We must ensure we hear the voices of Māori and reflect their aspirations in the work we deliver.

"We have actions and initiatives underway or starting, which will demonstrate and strengthen the contribution we make to the health and disability system,” says Sarah.

Pharmac’s full response to the review was delivered to the Minister of Health in November. It focused on a longer-term work programme.

“The priorities, actions and initiatives we outlined in our interim response have been further developed in our final response, due to be publicly released in early 2023,” says Sarah.

“We will share the full response and provide regular updates on our progress so the public can be assured in our efforts and intentions to do better overall, for all people in New Zealand.”