Journal of the New Zealand Medical Association, 15-July-2005, Vol 118 No 1218
PHARMAC welcomes debate
As an agency responsible for allocating New Zealand taxpayer funding, PHARMAC should be open to scrutiny (http://www.nzma.org.nz/journal/118-1217/1544/). Criticism can be uncomfortable, but things need to be said, and the NZMJ’s ‘Special Series’ does so.
The Journal has an important role in healthcare in New Zealand, and we appreciate the Journal’s efforts to promote local content.1 Debate about PHARMAC’s operations forms a necessary part of that content. We will seek to respond in order to maintain a balanced and constructive debate, because we believe that ultimately such debate can enhance healthcare in New Zealand.
From our discussions with the Journal’s editors we understood that the ‘Special Series’ would include a series of ten articles highlighting how PHARMAC adversely affects population health through restricting the availability of certain medications.2 We were also told that the Journal intended to allow PHARMAC the right of reply, but as a single response to all the articles and one-off at the end of the series. We thought this unfair.
In the past the Journal has provided PHARMAC with the chance to respond to a viewpoint article3 in a timely manner,4 and we have appreciated this. We felt disappointed not to be given a similar opportunity to respond in a similar way to the articles making recent direct criticisms.2,5–7
We are happy to debate funding issues in the Journal, particularly when all the evidence is presented. We will work to keep the debates informative and interesting, so that the sector has a deeper understanding of the roles and practices of PHARMAC—and increase the reading of other important issues that the Journal raises.8,9
Conflict of interest: Scott Metcalfe is externally contracted to work with PHARMAC for public health advice. Peter Moodie and Wayne McNee declare no conflicts.
Medical Director, PHARMAC, Wellington
Chief Executive, PHARMAC, Wellington
Public Health Physician, Wellington
issue | Search journal |
Archived issues | Classifieds
| Hotline (free ads)
Subscribe | Contribute | Advertise | Contact Us | Copyright | Other Journals