Chief Executive's foreword

Sarah Fitt, a Pākeha woman, smiles at the camera warmly. She has blonde medium length hair..

Tēnā koutou katoa,

I am pleased to present the 2023 Year in Review for Te Pātaka Whaioranga – Pharmac.

2023 has been another big year for Pharmac. We’re looking forward to working with the new Government as we continue to deliver on the outcomes of the Pharmac Review, and consider how we give effect to, and embed, the new health and disability priorities.

In 2022, Pharmac received a $191 million increase to the Combined Pharmaceutical Budget for two years. This brought the Combined Pharmaceutical Budget to $1.186 billion in the 2022/2023 financial year and $1.245 billion in the 2023/2024 financial year. This is the biggest increase since we were formed over 30 years ago.

In late 2022, the Government also announced a further one-off boost to Pharmac’s budget of $66 million. Using this, and the earlier increase to the Combined Pharmaceutical Budget, Pharmac funded 20 new medicines and widened access to 22 others, benefiting nearly 365,000 New Zealanders. These included treatments for people with cystic fibrosis, haemophilia A, inflammatory bowel disease, lung cancer, and primary progressive multiple sclerosis. You can read more about the differences some of these medicines are making in The Pharmac Effect.

New Zealand, and the rest of the world, continues to be affected by COVID-19. In July 2023 we received $164 million dollars from the Government to take over responsibility for the management of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. Using this funding, we have been able to secure COVID-19 treatments and confirm future supplies for new COVID-19 vaccines.

We have also successfully managed supply issues during a challenging year, making sure New Zealanders have the medicines and devices they need.

We have also made changes to our organisational structure with the creation of three new directorates - the Hospital Medical Devices Directorate, the Equity and Engagement Directorate, and the Advice and Assessment Directorate. These are now up and running, and already delivering a lot of important mahi.

We have $530 million dollars of total value of medical devices under contract, with more than 164,000 medical devices contracted to Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora hospitals. Our national contracting for devices has saved the health and disability system more than $100 million so far, and we have been working closely with Health New Zealand, suppliers, and other key organisations to progress the hospital medical devices programme.

We know that success relies on working collaboratively across the sector. So, we developed a new engagement strategy to implement meaningful and genuine engagement with Māori, Pacific peoples, people with disabilities, people who use medicines and devices, their whānau, advocates, and the wider health and disability system.

Finally, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the entire Pharmac team, who have worked incredibly hard this year to support the health and wellbeing of all New Zealanders.

Ngā mihi maioha

Sarah Fitt