Pharmac calls on Tauranga for advice

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Pharmac is asking Tauranga people to help it make some changes to how it should best distribute medicine and medical device funding.

"If you or someone in your family has received a funded medicine, then Pharmac has touched your life," chief executive Steffan Crausaz said.

''Now we're giving people an opportunity to talk to us about their experiences, and some changes we're proposing to the process we use for considering applications for the Pharmaceutical Schedule."

The Government pharmaceutical funding agency gets applications from a wide range of people, for a variety of medicines and soon it expects to be asked about funding particular medical devices.

In its upcoming public meetings and consultation, Pharmac would also consult on proposed administrative changes to its applications process to meet the Government's obligations under the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

These changes would not change the fundamentals of the Pharmac model. They comprised setting a timeframe for considering funding applications, and establishing a specific review process for funding applications that Pharmac has declined.

The TPP-related proposed amendments would only take effect when the TPP entered into force for New Zealand.

"We're using this opportunity to also propose some other improvements to make it easier for people to make funding applications, and to find out more about the progress of an application," he said.

Mr Crausaz said it was important all community voices had their say in the discussion.

"We're looking forward to meeting New Zealanders across the country and getting their feedback on how we're doing," Mr Crausaz said. "We think these proposed changes would improve how people interact with us through the funding process.

"We encourage people to come to one of our forums and tell us what they think about the changes we're proposing. We're also really interested to hear how we're doing and what we can do to keep improving and getting the best health outcomes for New Zealanders."

The Tauranga forum will be held on October 27 from 9am - 11:30am at Arataki Community Centre's Penguin Room.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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