Pharmac says it is continuing to work with suppliers to manage potential disruption.
But it has no update on any specific drugs since its March 6 update, when temporary dispensing limits were put in place on paracetamol due to the closure of Chinese factories that make the drug's active ingredient.
In an interview with the Herald, two Douglas Pharmaceuticals executives, chief commercial officer Scott Sherriff and chief science officer Peter Surman, said the Auckland-based drug company had "several months" worth of drugs that it supplied on contract to Pharmac.
That's thanks in part to stockpiling during the earliest days of the outbreak, working closely with suppliers based in multiple countries and the business-as-usual terms of its Pharmac contracts, which require keeping at least two months' worth of product on-hand. The company had "two or three times" its usual levels of a number of drugs, including antibiotics for dealing with pneumonia.
Sherriff stressed that there were no short-term or medium-term issues anticipated for the generic drugmaker.
But he added that if it was not able to supply any drug for any reason, then his company would go all-out to source an alternative.
That's partly for public-good, and partly from commercial-imperative. Douglas Pharmaceuticals' contract with Pharmac requires Douglas to source any drug it can't supply from a competitor, then make up any difference in price from its own pocket.
In its March 6 update, the Crown drug-buying agency said, "As a large number of the medicines imported to New Zealand have some or all of their manufacturing and production steps in China, Pharmac has proactively contacted all its contracted medicine and device suppliers to seek information about any potential impacts to supply and their contingency plans.
"The majority have responded to confirm that they have contingency plans in place and are actively managing their supply chains.
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"Some medicine suppliers have advised us that they anticipate future disruptions due to supply issues, whether due to manufacturing or transportation.
"We are working closely with them to determine the best approach to manage potential medicine and device shortages, which may include temporary restrictions on dispensing volumes, to ensure that all New Zealanders have access to what they need."
Most medicine and device suppliers under Pharmac contracts are required to keep a minimum stock in New Zealand equal to two months' demand, the agency said.
"There is typically another four-six weeks' worth of stock in New Zealand across the wholesale and retail supply chain."
In a note sent to institutional clients on March 11, Forsyth Barr said that outside of the Hubei province, where the virus originated, more than 90 per cent of large-scale industrial enterprises have returned to normal production.
Out of China's top 100 cities, 26 have completely resumed normal operation and another 66 have reached more than 90 per cent, ForBarr said.
Much of Douglas Pharmaceuticals' manufacturing capacity is in Auckland, which is also home to the $250m (annual sales) operation's 800 staff.
Sherriff said management and some lab staff could work from home in the event of a city-wide lockdown, while he anticipated manufacturing staff would still be allowed to come to work. Contingency planning allowed for a number having to stay home to look after children who couldn't go to school.