Medicines New Zealand welcomes the publication of PHARMAC's new Decision Criteria for the funding of medicines in New Zealand. Their open and consultative approach has produced a more holistic view of the process. Much now depends on how the fifteen Criteria are rolled out in 2015.Having been invited to Chair the OPP Reference Group of innovator and generic companies, patient groups and researchers, Medicines New Zealand played a central role in the peer-review process for the proposed changes. It was heartening to be acknowledged for this work, both in PHARMAC's recent announcement and within the content of the published Decision Criteria where our recommendations have clearly been taken into account.
We hope that as the roll-out progresses in the next twelve months, PHARMAC will also consider the decision process, with particular emphasis on the following areas:
Decisions should be made within a predetermined time-frame.
The scientific information on which decisions are based should be shared transparently between PHARMAC and applicants.
The criteria for decisions should be applied transparently and consistently and the system should require PHARMAC to make a decision and to communicate this to all stakeholders.
Pharmaceutical products should not be treated differently to other health technologies in the funding process.
We will continue to work closely with PHARMAC in this work and to support their efforts in improving access to medicines for all New Zealanders.