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Wellington Professor appointed to chair PTAC

Media Release

Wellington Professor appointed to chair PTAC

Wellington-based physician and clinical pharmacologist Professor Carl Burgess has been appointed to chair the Pharmacology and Therapeutics Advisory Committee (PTAC).

The committee is made up of senior practising clinicians and provides independent advice to PHARMAC on pharmaceuticals and their benefits, and on new applications for pharmaceutical funding.

Prof Burgess has been appointed to succeed Dr John Hedley, who has retired as chair of the committee that he had been a member of since 1987.

Commenting on the decision, PHARMAC Medical Director Peter Moodie says Prof Burgess’ appointment will maintain the independence of PTAC and ensure it continues to provide valuable and timely advice to PHARMAC.

“As a member of PTAC since 2000 Prof Burgess has the support of his colleagues to move into this leadership role,” Dr Moodie says.

“He is highly regarded and respected in the medical community and his appointment will ensure PTAC continues to provide useful and timely advice, informed by expert clinicians.”

In PHARMAC’s just-released Annual Review, Prof Burgess pays tribute to Dr Hedley, who has been chairman of PTAC since PHARMAC was established in 1993.

“Over the years John has drawn attention to the need for clinicians to resist these pressures, emphasised the independence and objectiveness of PTAC members, and continually highlighted the issue of conflicts of interest impacting on clinical practice,” says Prof Burgess.

“His stance on this issue hasn’t always been popular, but the growing body of opinion among physicians to address the problems created by conflicts of interest vindicates his long-held views.

“The work that John and the PHARMAC team have done in refining the PTAC guidelines and refreshing the memberships of PTAC and its sub-committees has been invaluable in laying the foundation for the committee to continue its good work.”

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2/PTAC chair

Educated in South Africa, Prof Burgess is currently Professor and Head of Department at the Dept of Medicine, Wellington School of Medicine and Health Sciences. He is also a consultant physician in the Dept of Internal Medicine, Capital & Coast DHB.

He is a member of numerous professional bodies including the Australasian Society of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacologists and Toxicologists (ASCEPT).

Professor Burgess says that, under his chairmanship, it will be ``business as usual” for PTAC.

Dr Paul Tomlinson, an Invercargill-based paediatrician and a member of PTAC since 1997, has been appointed Deputy Chair of PTAC.

PTAC’s latest member is Dr Peter Jones, a consultant rheumatologist and Professional Advisor Medicine at QE Health in Rotorua, and also Clinical Associate Professor at the Waikato Clinical School. He is vocationally registered as a specialist in internal medicine and has UK Specialist Accreditation in Rheumatology.

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