August 17, 2021
Pharmac Maaori vision not in the room
Māori Party co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer says despite Pharmac’s 1000 eyes approach to decision making, almost none of those eyes are Māori.
An Official Information Act request has revealed all the drug buying agency’s 145 staff are encouraged to attend and participate in the prioritisation meetings, even if they have no medical or clinical expertise.
Ms Ngarewa Packer says the OIA shows that of the 12 prioritisation meetings since March 2019, five had no Māori representation, while half the meetings only had one Māori in the room – reflection of the agency’s lack of Māori staff.
She says it contributes to poor medicine access for whānau and poor health outcomes for Māori.
While the Pharmac website highlights its attempt to deliver equity for Māori and Pacifika with Type II diabetes, the agency has refused to fund the best drugs for those groups.
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