PHARMAC REVIEW: A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION, BUT ‘DEVIL WILL BE IN THE DETAIL’ FOR GOVERNMENT ON ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN.
Medicines New Zealand believe that the final report of the Independent PHARMAC Review panel is a step in the right direction. There is however, much more work to be done as the Government’s response has not clearly stated how it will act on the recommendations made for the improvement of New Zealand’s publicly-funded medicines funding system.
The report’s 33 recommendations clearly show the need for PHARMAC to focus on enhanced equity, more transparency and timeliness regarding medicines procurement processes for the benefit of both patient health and wellbeing outcomes and to help optimise efficiencies in the public health system.
“A number of the recommendations, if fully adopted, such as improved patient engagement and embedding equity principles into aspects of decision-making are pleasing to see. This could see more transparent, timely, and equitable processes and outcomes from PHARMAC in the near term and into the future” says Dr Graeme Jarvis, CEO of Medicines New Zealand.
“The Minister of Health has stated that the Government rejected only two of the recommendations and therefore accepted the majority of the recommendations in the report. However, it is not clear what actions the Government is taking on the remaining recommendations or which ones they accept in full or in part or are modifying further. Therefore the ‘devil will be in the detail’ and something that all stakeholders need to observe closely.”
“The Review Panel has acted with great integrity and despite its limited scope delivered a very comprehensive and strong plan of action for positive change for patients. It is important that the Government takes on board as many of the recommendations made by the Panel in full for overall system improvements. As to ignore some of their recommendations "waters down" the potency of the plan. “
“Any cherry-picking of recommendations or meaningless actions by the Government would have major impacts not only on patient health outcomes and wellbeing, but also would further impact the health system performance and efficiency. That would be in no-one's interest “
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.
Grace Abbott, Communications Advisor, Medicines New Zealand.
Ph: 027 534 6461