Important events timeline
Important events in PHARMAC's history
- PHARMAC established as a joint venture company owned by the four Regional Health Authorities.
- David Moore is the first General Manager and Denis Tait is the first Chairman of the Board.
- PHARMAC begins the compilation and publication of the Pharmaceutical Schedule.
- Achieved savings of $3.1 million in its first full year of operation.
- Created a defined set of decision criteria.
- Formalised its Operating Policies and Procedures.
- Halved the growth in pharmaceutical expenditure to 5 percent per annum.
- First court papers filed challenging PHARMAC processes.
- First tender (for one product, paracetamol), leads to 44 percent price reduction.
- Savings reach $48 million by June 1996.
- Reference pricing of ACE Inhibitors leads to an expected $150 million saving on anti-hypertension drugs over the next six years.
- Decisions in the High Court and Court of Appeal and the Privy Council uphold PHARMAC’s procedures in pharmaceutical expenditure management, and its exemption from the Commerce Act.
- Cumulative savings surpass $250 million.
- Wayne McNee appointed General Manager of PHARMAC (November).
- Health Minister Jenny Shipley launches the Wise Use of Antibiotics campaign, the first nationwide public information campaign to be funded and co-ordinated by PHARMAC.
- Dr Peter Moodie appointed Medical Director.
- First multi-product tender produces savings of about $6.5 million per year.
- Cumulative savings reach $650 million.
- Richard Waddel succeeds Denis Tait as PHARMAC Board Chairman.
- PHARMAC initiates a review of its Operating Policies and Procedures.
- PHARMAC becomes a stand-alone Crown Entity, with an independent Board.
- PHARMAC takes over management of the Exceptional Circumstances scheme from the Ministry of Health.
- Wayne McNee becomes the first PHARMAC Chief Executive.
- Cumulative savings surpass $1 billion.
- Hui held to consult on PHARMAC’s Maori Responsiveness Strategy.
- PHARMAC takes on the management of hospital pharmaceutical purchasing.
- Hospital Pharmaceuticals Advisory Committee (HPAC) established.
- Consumer Advisory Committee (CAC) established. Sandra Coney is appointed the committee’s chair.
- Review of the Pharmacology and Therapeutics Advisory Committee's (PTAC) guidelines, and of the scope and memberships of its subcommittees, is completed.
- Cumulative savings from PHARMAC’s policies surpass $2 billion.
- The 2002-03 tender calls for bids for over 1000 line items, and produces savings of about $23 million.
- Spending on community medicines (managed by PHARMAC) is $512 million.
- PHARMAC assumes responsibility for purchasing influenza vaccine.
- Pilots of One Heart Many Lives cardiovascular risk management campaign take place in Porirua and Gisborne.
- Centralised purchasing of haemophilia products produces savings of $30 million.
- DHBs seek PHARMAC assistance in purchasing some products used in DHB hospitals – radiological contrast media; bulk intravenous fluids.
- Review of Operating Policies and Procedures under way.
- Associate Minister of Health Peter Dunne initiates Medicines New Zealand review.
- Wayne McNee seconded to Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet - Matthew Brougham appointed Acting Chief Executive.
- One Heart Many Lives expands into Hawke’s Bay and Northland.
- Wise Use of Antibiotics enters 10th year with new look and animated TV commercials.
- Controversy over the Herceptin drug leads to a group of patients seeking a judicial review of PHARMAC’s decisions.
- First PHARMAC Forum is held.
- Medicines New Zealand and its associated action plan are published.
- Matthew Brougham appointed Chief Executive.
- PHARMAC begins implementing Medicines NZ actions.
- He Rongoā Pai, He Oranga Whānau (Māori Staying Well with Medicines programme) is launched.
- Demand Side team becomes Access and Optimal Use
- A review of PTAC's Terms of Reference is completed.
- A new medicine campaign for childhood asthma – Space to Breathe - is piloted in Taranaki
- The first Hiwinui Heke scholarships for Māori pharmacy students are awarded.
- A second PHARMAC Forum is held.
- Stuart McLauchlan appointed Chair of the PHARMAC Board.
- Kate Russell appointed Chair of the Consumer Advisory Committee.
- High Cost Highly Specialised Medicines Review and Ministerial Review Group reports are published. Government gives PHARMAC expanded role in managing hospital medicines and medical devices.
- A review of the CAC Terms of Reference is completed.
- PHARMAC begins a review of the Exceptional Circumstances schemes.
- Matthew Brougham resigns as Chief Executive.
- PHARMAC creates Whānau Hauora Village at Te Matatini national kapa haka festival, Gisborne.
- Minister of Health approves creation of a discretionary pharmaceutical fund (DPF), held by PHARMAC, to help manage inter-year pharmaceutical expenditure.
- PHARMAC Board approves changes to Exceptional Circumstances – scheme to become Named Patient Pharmaceutical Assessment (NPPA).
- Funding for hospital cancer medicines (PCTs) included in the CPB.
- Steffan Crausaz appointed Chief Executive.
- Funding for vaccines included in CPB.
- Work begins on hospital medical devices.
- First commercial process run for a biosimilar medicine – biosimilar Filgrastim (Zarzio) is funded.
- Sisira Jayathissa succeeds Prof Carl Burgess as Chair of PTAC.
- All hospital medicines come under PHARMAC management.
- PHARMAC restructure leads to creation of four directorates – medical, corporate, engagement and implementation, and operations.
- Medical Director Dr Peter Moodie retires after 14 years in the role. Dr John Wyeth appointed Medical Director.
- Changes to the funded brand of blood glucose meters for more than 100,000 people with diabetes are implemented.
- More than 300 people attend PHARMAC community forums.
- PHARMAC Board approves a 10-year strategy for responsiveness to Māori – Te Whaioranga.
- Haemophilia treatment funding is included in the CPB.
- First national contract negotiated for hospital medical devices. In the first year of contracting, five-year savings to DHBs are $4.6 million from all devices contracts.
- PHARMAC consults on changes to its decision-making procedure, develops Factors for Consideration.
- Contestable funding process run exclusively for medicines for rare disorders.
- PHARMAC manages commercial process for national immunization schedule – leads to listing of rotavirus vaccine, and chickenpox vaccine for at-risk children.
- Factors for Consideration come into effect.
- Shane Bradbrook becomes Chair of Consumer Advisory Committee.
- Hospital medical devices line items on the Schedule exceed 10,000.
- First market share contracts negotiated for hospital medical devices.
- PHARMAC publishes ‘Mind the Gap’ analysis, comparing cancer medicines funded in Australia with New Zealand.
- Largest multi-product agreement reached with Novartis, for 16 products.
- Prime Minister John Key announces a $124m boost over four years for CPB.
- PHARMAC begins using Factors for Consideration for its decision-making.
- David Lui becomes Chair of the Consumer Advisory Committee.
- Nationwide series of fono to consult on a revised Pacific Responsiveness Strategy.
- Research funding partnership reached with Health Research Council.
- PHARMAC Tender moves to electronic on-line system.
- Prof Mark Weatherall appointed Chair of PTAC.
- PHARMAC publishes new strategy, including three Bold Goals.
- Steffan Crausaz resigns as Chief Executive; replaced by Sarah Fitt.
- Chickenpox and shingles vaccines added to immunization Schedule.
- Pacific Responsiveness Strategy is refreshed.
- Over 10-year timeframe, cumulative savings from PHARMAC’s CPB work are $6 billion.
Last updated: 28 June 2018