Government response to the independent review of Pharmac

Publication date: 1 June 2022

The Pharmac Review Panel has delivered its final report with findings and recommendations on its independent investigation of:

  • how well Pharmac performs against its current objectives and whether and how its performance against these could be improved; and
  • whether Pharmac’s current objectives (with emphasis on equity for Māori and Pacific peoples) maximise its potential to improve health outcomes for all New Zealanders as part of the wider health system, and whether and how these should be changed.

The Government established the review to ensure that New Zealanders can have confidence that Pharmac makes the best contribution it can to improving health outcomes for all New Zealanders, particularly Māori and Pacific peoples, as part of the wider health and disability system. Public consultation was a critically important part of the review so it would be informed by consumers, family and whānau perspectives and so the public can have confidence in its findings.

Summary of the Government’s response

The Government welcomes the Panel’s report and accepts its findings that Pharmac is performing an important role and that, to achieve its current objectives, its performance, especially on equitable outcomes for Māori and Pacific peoples, needs to improve. The Government welcomes the Panel’s insights and Pharmac’s commitment to improve.

As a result of this Review, Pharmac will have a much greater focus on improving the health of Māori, Pacific peoples, disabled people and other groups who do not yet share equitably in the benefits Pharmac provides. This will mean stronger relationships with Māori to honour te tiriti o Waitangi. It will mean Pharmac is more inclusive of people with health needs and explains its work more openly for the public. Pharmac will be working together with other health sector organisations on collective efforts to achieve better equity and health outcomes. All New Zealanders will be assured that Pharmac is working for them and their whānau and communities.

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