“ACT will seek an independent review of PHARMAC’s operating model to allow for greater transparency and more timeliness in decision making,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“The decisions made by PHARMAC can mean life or death. Having access to the right medicines can make the difference in someone’s quality of life, whether they experience chronic pain or whether they’re able to work.  We have to get this right.

“The PHARMAC model and operating framework was set up 27 years ago and there have been no material changes to it since then.

“PHARMAC has played an important role in managing and restraining government spending on medicines, particularly in bulk buying mass-use drugs and staying within budget. But the world of medicines has changed, and a rapid flow of highly sophisticated, costly, new generation medicines is transforming patient outcomes.

“In many cases, the taxpayer could actually save money by keeping people in work or saving on other healthcare interventions if more pharmaceuticals were funded. However, the current funding model doesn’t consider these possibilities, it only funds a medicine if it is more effective than other ones within a given budget.

“A review should be conducted by a skilled, independent committee that includes public and private sector expertise.

“As an electorate MP, I have dealt with too many heart-breaking cases where constituents have battled to get the medicines they need to survive or live without pain. This review will ensure more New Zealanders can live the best lives possible.”

Our health policy can be found here