News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Prime Minister Committed To Pharmac Investigation, But Health Minister At Odds

On 30 September Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern committed to having an investigation into Pharmac’s decision-making processes, the same day she received an open letter endorsed by 105 medical professionals slamming Pharmac’s processes, but official correspondence shows Health Minister Chris Hipkins appears not to have heard about it.

Earlier in the day Act Leader David Seymour announced an independent review of Pharmac as policy. Then under pressure that evening from host Patrick Gower in the Newshub Leaders Debate, both the Labour and National leaders agreed to a Pharmac investigation (with the Greens joining the call a week later).

But despite the PM’s public commitment, Crohn’s & Colitis New Zealand Charitable Trust Chair Dr Richard Stein, who has long been raising the need for a review of Pharmac, received a template response from Minister Hipkins dismissing the issue. (Read the Minister’s letter here and Dr. Stein’s response here.)

“Even without the PM’s commitment , the loss of confidence in Pharmac by over 100 medical professionals should by itself be compelling enough to stop the Health Minister from continuing to shelter an agency that is patently failing to meet the objectives set by the Government to provide the best health outcomes for New Zealanders.

“It is also clear that the tide of public opinion has turned on Pharmac. Over 64,000 concerned people have signed petitions calling for change. While we are waiting, patients suffering with serious diseases are having to take to the streets or turn to the media to have their voices heard.

“It is time for the Prime Minister and the Health Minister to listen to its own experts and the public and give a clear and unqualified assurance that an independent review of Pharmac’s processes and operation will be carried out with urgency,” said Dr Stein.

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Troy Kingi Rules The San Fran

The award-winning Northland musician performed songs from his new record The Ghost of Freddie Cesar, the fourth installment in his 10/10/10 series - ten albums in ten years in ten genres. More>>

Howard Davis: The Phoenix Foundation Rises From The Ashes (& Chris O'Connor Talks)

Simultaneously dreamy and structured, understated and subtle, spacious and hypnotic, The Phoenix Foundation's new album Lifeline includes gorgeous vocal harmonies, lilting lyrics with no lack of wry, self-deprecating humour, and gently weeping guitar parts. More>>

Howard Davis: Estère At San Fran

Appearing at Wellington's San Fran to promote her new single, Calculated Risk, the local musician sutured together a highly impressive set of syncopated soul beats, weaving a brilliant dance cloth of iridescent splendour.More>>

Back On The Stairway To Heaven: Led Zeppelin Wins Over Spirit

In March, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeal upheld an original jury finding that Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven did not infringe copyright in Spirit’s 1968 song Taurus. Michael Skidmore, who had filed the suit in 2014 as trustee of the ... More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland