Earlier this year we shared the New Zealand Government’s decision to improve its health procurement through a review process of Pharmac, the Crown entity that chooses medicines and pharmaceutical products for community and public hospitals.
A Review Committee was asked to consider how well Pharmac performed against its objectives and whether its performance could be improved. It was also asked to look at timeliness of decision-making, transparency, and equity of outcomes, particularly for Māori, Pacific people, disabled people, and those with rare disorders.
The results of the interim report have recently been released and found a range of issues including:
- Pharmac is underperforming in helping to remove inequitable health outcomes.
- Its prioritisation approach appears to disadvantage Māori, Pacific people, disabled people, and those with rare disorders.
- Te Tiriti o Waitangi principles are largely unseen in decision-making processes.
- There may be an excessive focus on containing costs – and a concern the cost-saving model may not be the right one to meet future health needs.
- Decision-making is opaque and is perceived as being slow.
- Engagement with consumers and patient advocacy groups needs to be more meaningful.
- Convoluted procurement processes put off pharmaceutical companies.
- A perception New Zealand is falling behind other developed countries.
Pharmac Chief executive Sarah Fitt responded to the early results:
“We are working hard to improve our processes to be faster and clearer. We look forward to continuing to work with the Review Committee as they work towards finalising their report and recommendations,”
In the next phase of the review, the panel will:
- Make recommendations following the observations made in this report to support Pharmac to become more effective.
- Look at Pharmac’s legislative requirements in terms of the new health and disability system and the Pae Oranga Bill (Healthy Futures).
- Make recommendations on Pharmac’s governance arrangements.
- Address outstanding aspects of the terms of reference.
- Look further at funding for people with rare disorders.
We look forward to the release of the panel’s recommendations in 2022 and we’d certainly encourage the review committees to utilise The Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS) which enables disclosure of data and documents at all stages of the contracting process by defining a common data model. It was created to support organisations to increase contracting transparency, and allow deeper analysis of contracting data by a wide range of users.
If you’d like to find out more about Spend Network’s global government procurement data, or our insights and research capability, get in touch
If you’d like to find out more about Spend Network’s global government procurement data, or our insights and research capability, get in touch.