Staff profile - Hayden Holmes
Hayden Holmes is onto his second career and enjoying every minute of his opportunities at PHARMAC.
Hayden works as a health economist at PHARMAC. It’s highly technical work, using commercial, public health and analytical models to work out how much extra health a medicine can provide, and how much that benefit might cost New Zealand.
It’s been an unusual path into the health workforce. Hayden’s first career was in the Defence Force, as an NCO in the RNZAF’s logistics section. The Air Force took Hayden to Blenheim, Auckland, Antarctica and Little Rock, Arkansas, as well as a stint in the peacekeeping force on the Pacific Island of Bougainville.
But growing disillusionment with the impact the military could have on societies led Hayden to investigate study in health economics.
“The military by its nature is reactive,” he explains. “But what it can’t do is fix the underlying policy or economics issues that cause problems.”
“So I became interested in the field of developmental economics, looking at why some countries are developed and others are developing, and the differences between them. And when you look at it you see the impact health has on developing countries. So that led me into studying health economics.”
Hayden targeted working at PHARMAC in particular, and arrived five years ago. It’s given him a chance to combine his interest in health economics, public health, and health policy. As well as assessing new medicines, Hayden’s in the thick of policy work, being involved in the setting up of PHARMAC’s medical devices work, the development of the Factors for Consideration, and now leading the review of the Prescription for Pharmacoeconomic Analysis, an important foundation document that defines PHARMAC’s approach to assessing medicines.
“One of the things I like about PHARMAC is our agility and flexibility in our policy work. It’s full of quite passionate people trying to get things moving quickly. We get things done a lot quicker than some other agencies in the sector.”
“I like the robust nature of it in terms of how our decisions have an evidence-based approach. We have a lot of power with the budget we have and we need to make good decisions – and I think we do.”
“I see us as world leaders in making good decisions, and from where I sit you can really see how the work PHARMAC does benefits the health system.”
Last updated: 10 December 2015