Pharmac review: "How much improvement can be achieved is questionable"
An independent panel has released it's final report following its review of Pharmac.
The review was announced in March last year, and today the Health Minister Andrew Little responded to the review's final report. The panel made 33 recommendations and the Government has agreed to most of them. These include improvements in equity, transparency and accessibility.
While we're pleased the Government accepts much of the panel's findings, we question how much improvement can actually be achieved.
Our chief executive, Ah-Leen Rayner, responded: "This review helpfully acknowledges many of Pharmac’s failings, so we welcome the Government accepting most of the panel’s recommendations. But ultimately, these changes merely tinker at the edges without addressing Pharmac’s fundamental problems – its outdated assessment and funding models which aren’t keeping pace with modern medicines.
“This review was an opportunity to move beyond Pharmac’s current unambitious kaupapa of cost savings and retire a 30-year-old system. Instead we have vague commitments and no clear solutions for the hundreds of women with incurable breast cancer who still can’t access 14 life-extending and changing treatments. And with Pharmac’s budget beyond the scope of this review, how much improvement can be achieved is questionable.”