“ACT was the first to call for a review into PHARMAC, it then became Labour policy during the election campaign and today we welcome the scale and scope of the review,” says ACT Health spokesperson Brooke van Velden.

“ACT began calling for a review because it was clear PHARMAC wasn’t meeting its objective of providing the best health outcomes for New Zealanders.

“I am particularly pleased the review will test PHARMAC’s ability to maximise health outcomes, as clearly the balance at present is tipped in favour of budgets versus the most effective drugs.

“PHARMAC needs to take into consideration the broad societal benefits of newer treatments, which increasingly other jurisdictions we like to compare ourselves to are approving and funding.

“It must be required to consider the cost not funding a particular drug will have on the overall health of New Zealanders, including the need for unnecessary hospital stays, surgeries, and the ability to live a fulfilling life.

“I’m also pleased the timeliness of PHARMAC’s decision making will go under the microscope.

“What we know is New Zealanders won’t stand for minor tweaks to the status quo.

“The PHARMAC model might be fit for purpose but its current objectives and performance are not.”