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Medicines New Zealand supportive of Government’s PHARMAC Review assuming it is not a box-ticking exercise

Medicines New Zealand, the industry association representing companies involved in the research, development and manufacture of modern medicines and vaccines, is supportive of the proposed review into PHARMAC if it is intended to improve the existing system and enhance modern medicines access for patients and the health system. 

“Medicines New Zealand understands any Government’s need to have access to modern medicines in a timely manner, and the current Government has shown it is capable of moving swiftly to fund COVID-19 health measures in as short a timeframe as possible to save the lives of New Zealanders” said Dr Graeme Jarvis, CEO of Medicines New Zealand.

The industry association believes that this COVID-19 example, which utilised a different approach to valuing health measures to include consideration of broader societal and economic impacts beyond the health system, could serve as a good model for improving New Zealand’s poor modern medicines access standings in the OECD. 

“It has been well established that the existing procurement system is not fit for purpose, and clearly needed some modifications to increase timeliness and transparency of decision-making. Our hope is that the review will also lead to a correction of the issues that currently see the health system and patients getting both poorer modern medicines access and waiting twice as long to obtain modern treatments compared to our OECD peer nations” said Dr Jarvis. 

The industry association believes that the government's review signals a positive way forward on the development of a more optimal approach to modern medicines procurement for New Zealand. 

“Medicines New Zealand and its member companies look forward to being constructive and engaged stakeholders during the review process. We will assist the review panel and the process in any way that we can to achieve the common goal of obtaining a national medicines procurement system that optimally serves both the patients and country’s needs“ said Dr Jarvis.


Medicines New Zealand is the industry group representing biopharmaceutical companies operating in New Zealand. We advocate for the benefits of modern medicines and vaccines as part of a high-quality public health system.

Kristen Edwards, Communications Advisor, Medicines New Zealand.
Ph: 027 534 6461