We tend to take medicines, vaccines and medical devices for granted until a crisis strikes, and now COVID vaccines, devices such as oxygen concentrators, and COVID medications are now very much the topic of conversation. But every day of the year medicines and medical devices ensure we can live normal lives, and vaccines afford our children and the wider community protection against a wide range of diseases that in the past would have killed and maimed.

Behind the scenes the New Zealand government health agency, PHARMAC, continually makes more medicines available for more New Zealanders and plays an active role in keeping New Zealanders healthy by funding these medicines, vaccines and related products. New Zealanders benefit from this work when they get a prescription filled at the pharmacy, when they’re vaccinated for free or when they receive medicines in a public hospital. In the 2019/20 financial year, around 3.8 million New Zealanders benefited from funded medicines. PHARMAC’s identity Te Pātaka Whaioranga (‘the storehouse of wellbeing’), sums up the very important part they play in managing and safeguarding something that’s of great value to all New Zealanders, health and wellbeing.

Sarah Fitt, PHARMAC’s Chief Executive and her team, are committed to improving the health and wellbeing of all New Zealanders, and to reducing inequities of access to funded medicines, and are driving an improvement programme across the organization to make PHARMAC’s decisions clearer and faster.

To assist with this work, Sarah is in the process of appointing a Chief Medical Officer to be part of her Senior Leadership Team. The Chief Medical Officer will provide governance and leadership from a clinical perspective and ensure reliable clinical medical advice is given to PHARMAC. They will be responsible for the development and delivery of PHARMAC’s clinical leadership strategy and will play an integral part in improving all New Zealanders’ health and wellbeing and to reducing inequities.

If you want to be part of driving these important strategies and improvements at PHARMAC and, through these, the ongoing benefits to all New Zealanders, read more about the role of Chief Medical Officer role here.