Greens call for independent review of Pharmac

The Green Party is calling for an independent review of Pharmac to ensure that there is proper equity around funding for medication for sick New Zealanders.  

“COVID-19 has shown us the importance of good health care and readily available, affordable medication”, said Green Party Health spokesperson Julie Anne Genter.

“Pharmac has successfully delivered affordable medications for decades, but has never been reviewed. It is time for independent review of the processes to make sure their decision making is getting the best for all New Zealanders.

“We have heard from many patient groups that some lifesaving treatments are not available soon enough, and this may disproportionately affect Maori and Pasifika. 

“There are signs that funding may be too limited to deliver proven treatments that are available overseas. Underfunding sets the platform for lobbying and results in potentially poor decision making around critical funding.

“As part of the review, it would be independently assessed just how much funding Pharmac needs to provide the equitable support required so New Zealanders can afford medication to relieve pain and illness. It is important that a patient representative is also part of the review group. 

“This review, and the potential for a funding increase, is long overdue. We would push for this review if elected to the next Government with Labour”.

The review would be conducted by a small panel of independent experts and would conclude by the end of 2021.

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