New Zealand Government introduces independent PHARMAC Review

New Zealand Government introduces independent PHARMAC Review

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The New Zealand Government, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Andrew Little announced today that a review would take place regarding how well PHARMAC performs.

PHARMAC's independent review will suit an election promise in forwarding focus on its performance against the current intentions and maximising its potential. The review aims to improve health outcomes for all New Zealanders, including the wider health system.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says that the model has worked well, but reports of concerns about the current model have sparked a new enlightening.

“Broadly, the PHARMAC model works well and gives New Zealanders access to the medicines and products they need to live healthy lives, but we have heard people’s concerns about the model, and we believe there is scope for improving it,” said PM Ardern.

“PHARMAC is a model that’s critically important to the health sector and viewed as world-leading, but let’s make it better if we can.”

Health Minister Andrew Little says the concerns have raised questions about having access to new medicines. This includes the timeline of getting it.

“Concerns raised about PHARMAC include access to new medicines, timeliness of decision making, and the application of criteria that inform PHARMAC’s prioritisation and funding decisions. The review will look at these matters,” Andrew Little said.

“In scope will be how PHARMAC uses its budget to achieve the best possible outcomes. Out of scope will be the fixed nature of the budget and the total amount allocated to pharmaceuticals as these quite rightly are for the Government of the day to determine.”

Until the end of the year, the review will begin starting today. An interim report will be produced in August and a final report will be made public during December.

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