Chief Executive's summary
From Chief Executive Steffan Crausaz
The year began with a significant increase in PHARMAC’s budget - $124 million over four years, giving PHARMAC additional scope for making new investments in medicines. We funded 18 new medicines, including new treatments for hepatitis C, advanced melanoma, breast cancer, and vaccines. With cure rates of up to 95%, the hepatitis C treatments are an important advance over the previously funded treatments.
A further funding lift occurred in 2017, securing a strong platform for medicine investments. One of these has seen better access to medicines for HIV, so that people can get them much earlier in the progress of the disease.
There was significant progress in PHARMAC’s management of hospital medical devices. By year-end we had negotiated national agreements worth about $109 million of DHB expenditure. To date, savings from national contracts are a minimum of $39 million over five years. But we’re ambitious about our ability to achieve greater savings in future – aiming for $1 billion in savings by 2025. We’re encouraged by the track this is already taking – savings in devices are similar to the savings we generated in community medicines and hospital medicines in the early years.
We were also very encouraged by the feedback people gave us at our DHB Devices Forums in the first half of 2017. People now understand we’re in the hospital medical devices space, and are working in partnership with us to implement contracts as we move towards our long-term goal of budget management. This is a significant shift and represents good engagement and hard work with our sector partners.
This year also provided us with the opportunity to reflect what we have achieved for New Zealanders in key areas of therapy new to PHARMAC budget management – cancer treatments and vaccines. These stories show not only the new medicines we have funded but how care has changed for patients. We have done that by using the PHARMAC model – increasing choices for prescribers and offering more treatments for more people, while avoiding many of the prices charged internationally for the same medicines. Read more about international pricing.
As PHARMAC approaches a quarter of a century serving New Zealanders, we think the time is right to set some intentionally difficult targets to work towards. Our new strategy, reflected in our refreshed Statement of Intent [PDF, 592 KB] for the next four years, will ensure we can make an even bigger contribution to the New Zealand health system, and to the health of all New Zealanders.
The Strategy includes three bold goals which will be our focus over the coming years. They are:
- Eliminate inequities in access to medicines
- Generate $1 billion of savings from medical device management to reinvest in health outcomes for New Zealanders
- Create systems that enable the best investment choices to be implemented across all PHARMAC activities.
In this Year in Review, we take a close look at each of these bold goals. We know these are challenging, but in striving to meet them working alongside our partners, we will have a positive impact on the health system and improve the lives of all New Zealanders.
Last updated: 13 December 2018