PHARMAC is the New Zealand government agency that decides, on behalf of district health boards, which medicines and related products are publicly funded in New Zealand and to what level. In addition to medicines used in the community, PHARMAC manages all hospital medicines and the vaccines funded by Government. PHARMAC is also working towards management of hospital medical devices.
PHARMAC's main roles include:
managing the Combined Pharmaceutical Budget for community medicines, vaccines, and hospital cancer medicines;
determining the Pharmaceutical Schedule (the list of Government-funded medicines prescribed and dispensed in the community, medicines available in DHB hospitals (including pharmaceutical cancer treatments) and vaccines);
managing the hospital medicines list – the medicines all DHB hospitals provide for their patients;
managing access to medicines for named individuals through the Named Patient Pharmaceutical Assessment policy, and other special access programmes;
promoting the responsible use of medicines; and
engaging in research, policy work and support to others in the health sector.