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Doctors look to better relationship with Pharmac

Doctors look forward to better relationship with Pharmac

The New Zealand Medical Association welcomes the independent review of Pharmac's Operating Polices and Procedures and looks forward to the agency developing more effective relationships with other organisations.

"We agree with the report's recommendations that Pharmac takes action to improve its relationships with stakeholders, and make major improvements to the way it carries out consultation," said NZMA Chairman Dr Pippa MacKay.

"We acknowledge Pharmac has a difficult role in managing a limited budget and it will always make some decisions that doctors don't like. But, we agree with the review when it says Pharmac must work to build better relationships with major stakeholders. It needs a transparent system so everyone can understand the decisions that are made."

At present, many patients feel disenfranchised by Pharmac's policies, Dr MacKay said. "Some patients have had their stable pharmaceutical regime taken away from them, some now have to pay for necessary pharmaceuticals which were once subsidised. The NZMA strongly supports the recommendation for Pharmac to establish a consumer advisory committee."

Dr MacKay said a number of the review's recommendations would require extra funding, and this should not come from the pharmaceutical budget. The Government must be aware of this need for extra funding, and should make a commitment to it, so Pharmac can improve the way it operates.

The review, carried out by former Cabinet Minister David Caygill and Dr Joel Lexchin, largely endorses how the Operating Polices and Procedures work.


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