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Where Is The Pharmac Review Panel’s Interim Report?


Patient advocacy groups and clinicians are calling out the Pharmac Review Panel for failing to get their interim report out on time. The report that was due on 20 August is still not available seven weeks later. The “delay” has been attributed to lockdown (which began on August 18).

Dr Neil Graham is executive director of one of the many patient advocacy groups who, along with clinicians and medical specialist groups, went to great lengths and effort to contribute to the Panel’s work. He said many individuals and groups had appeared before the committee or attended their workshops, and large numbers put in very substantial submissions. 

“For voluntary, patient-based organisations to produce and deliver this material within the very short time frame set by the Panel, was in itself a significant effort,” said Dr Graham.

“Somewhat ironically, Pharmac’s lack of transparency and timeliness around their processes for considering urgently needed, currently unfunded, life-saving medications, was one of the key issues raised by submitters.

“Failure on the part of the panel to deliver its report on time without a credible excuse is simply not good enough,” said Dr Graham.

Dr Graham noted that the absence of action on the Pharmac review coincides with a new Colmar Brunton survey showing that New Zealanders have little faith that they can access medicine.

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