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HFA Welcomes Positive PHARMAC Review

HFA Chairman, Syd Bradley, today welcomed the release of the Independent Review of PHARMAC’s own review of its Operating Policies and Procedures (OPPs).

Following discussions with the Minister of Health, the HFA sponsored an independent review of the process used by PHARMAC this year to undertake an extensive examination of its operating policies and procedures for making decisions on subsidising drugs.

The HFA appointed Hon David Caygill, a former Minister of Health, and Dr Joel Lexchin, a Canadian Emergency Medicine Specialist, to undertake the review.

“The report’s key finding is that PHARMAC’s review of its OPPs was fair and transparent. But it also addresses a number of other issues raised by PHARMAC, the pharmaceutical industry, and other groups', Mr Bradley said.

“The report acknowledges the tensions between PHARMAC and the pharmaceutical industry, and suggests a way forward. It doesn’t support the argument that PHARMAC has acted unfairly, but it does support it moving forward with some new strategies.

“These new strategies include establishing better relationships with a number of stakeholders, and looking at initiatives like encouraging better prescribing. PHARMAC was already addressing in some way these key recommendations, and has agreed to implement many others. I would hope that this contributes to positive further engagement between PHARMAC and the sector on the final shape of the OPPs”, said Mr Bradley.

The reviewers received a number of written submissions and met with a range of submittors including PHARMAC, the RMI, the NZMA, the Pharmacy Guild, and the Consumers’ Institute over the last two weeks of September.

“I would like to personally thank the reviewers, Hon David Caygill and Dr Joel Lexchin, for their work on the review. I would also like to thank all the submittors for what I understand were extremely clear and well argued submissions", said Mr Bradley.


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