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PHARMAC Inquiry: “nothing should be off the table”

Medicines New Zealand, the industry association representing companies involved in the research, development and manufacture of modern medicines and vaccines, welcomes the announcement by the Health Minister, Hon Andrew Little, of an independent inquiry into PHARMAC.

“The association and its member companies are highly supportive of yesterday’s announcement from the Government that an inquiry will be forthcoming and will be run independently“ said Dr Graeme Jarvis, CEO of Medicines New Zealand.

However, the industry association believes that the scope of the review should not be limited by perceived issues around ‘commercial confidentiality’. 

“Anything relating to commercially sensitive areas should not be considered out of scope, as with the right internal mechanism in place, these areas can be covered off and reviewed in a robust and sensible manner by the independent inquiry” said Dr Jarvis.

The industry association and its members have voiced their concerns that many aspects of the medicines procurement process have lacked both transparency and timeliness. New Zealand is now in a situation where we have fallen well behind similar OECD countries for both the number of publicly-funded modern medicines and the speed of access for patients to modern medicines with proven effectiveness and benefits. 

“New Zealand is now facing a modern medicines access emergency. Medicines New Zealand and its members look forward to the opportunity to be included as a stakeholder in the review. We also see the independent review as the first step in a collaborative process to get the New Zealand health system and patients better access to modern medicines now and into the future" 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