Updated on 19 April 2013
Pharmac has also taken on responsibility for funding vaccines and medical devices and we would like to ensure there is a transparent process put in place for ensuring rapid access to new vaccines for New Zealanders. The government has enhanced uptake of vaccines that are already on the immunisation schedule and it is important that any new vaccine listing is combined with robust implementation and communication programmes to ensure widespread population immunity is achieved soon after funding.
What is the number of MNCs and domestic companies in the industry? How many new domestic companies have been formed in the last two years?
All of our member companies are multinational companies. We are aware of only two domestic pharmaceutical manufacturers, although there are many companies and research groups doing excellent work on pharmaceutical R&D in New Zealand.
What are the major challenges faced by the industry and how is the association helping the industry to deal with the hurdles?
New Zealand provides very slow access to new medicines and vaccines due to budgetary constraints and an opaque funding process. Medicines New Zealand would like to see the process become more transparent and the Government recognise the value of improving investment in new medicines and vaccines.
In order to counter the challenges and to help the industry to deal with hurdles, we recommended several improvements to the Pharmac system. We suggested that decisions should be made within a predetermined timeframe and that scientific information on which decisions are based should be shared transparently between Pharmac and the applicants. We also recommended that the system should require Pharmac to make a decision and communicate this decision to stakeholders; that decision criterias should be applied transparently and consistently; stakeholders should have meaningful opportunity to provide input to the decision process at the appropriate stages; and that pharmaceutical products should not be treated differently to other health technologies in the funding process.
We also suggested that value should be attributed to innovative treatments, where innovative treatments demonstrate improved patient outcomes these should be appropriately valued by the procurement system and that a review panel should be established to ensure consistent decisions and due process.