August 17, 2021
Pharmac 1000-minds strategy enrages Patient Voice
A critic of Pharmac says people should be outraged now the government drug buying agency’s decision-making processes have been exposed.
An Official Information Act request has revealed the prioritisation meeting, where decisions are made on what drugs will be funded, can be attended by any of the agency’s staff, no matter how junior.
Malcolm Mulholland from Patient Voice Aotearoa says he’s not buying Pharmac’s response that involving more people in assessment and decision-making creates better diversity of thought.
"These are not the right people to be making these types of decisions. These are clinical decisions, so that is where the responsibility should sit. It's a bit like getting an electrician to fix a plumbing problem or your car breaks down and you call a hairdresser to fix it, that's essentially what's going on here – people should be outraged," he says.
Mr Mulholland says the prioritisation committee revelation shows why a Royal Commission into Pharmac is needed.
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