Pharmac review: Jacinda Ardern and Andrew Little reveal focus of investigation

Which aspects of drug-buying agency Pharmac will be under review are set to be revealed by the Government this morning.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Andrew Little will announce the independent review’s terms of reference at Parliament at 10am which will be livestreamed here.

The review was committed to by Ardern during an election debate with National leader Judith Collins who also promised to review the agency if elected.

Ardern said when asked if Labour would commit to a review, she said: “If it gives people faith in our system, then yes.”

Newsroom reported this morning the review will investigate how the government drug-buying agency can better respond to specific government health priorities relating to emerging drugs and more.

In 2019 the Health Select Committee voted against a politician-led inquiry into the agency. The National Party said it appeared Labour only committed to the independent review when it was “politically palatable”.

Health Minister Andrew Little confirmed the Government was planning an independent inquiry into Pharmac and that Labour just didn’t support it being led by politicians on the Health Select Committee.

Little said they wanted it to be independent and considered it “inappropriate” for MPs to do it.

“It needs to be at arm’s length from politicians. It’s not right for politicians making political judgements about Pharmac and its decisions.

“There are high-level policy decisions but it is better that they are reviewed at arm’s length and independently,” he said last year.

He said work is under way to establish terms of reference and an appropriate review body.

Source: Read Full Article