Feb 29, 2024, 3:11 PM
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Rare Disorders NZ welcomes Minister Seymour’s announcement that Pharmac are changing how they accept funding applications for new medicines to speed up the assessment process. We hope this will be the first of many steps to make Pharmac’s assessment processes faster and more efficient for rare disorder medicines. We also continue to call for a commitment to more equitable access to appropriate treatment for people with rare disorders, ideally as part of the imminent rare disorder strategy, as recommended by the 2022 Pharmac Review.

The announced change means that a funding application will be able to be assessed by Pharmac at the same time as Medsafe is assessing the application for regulatory approval in New Zealand, rather than having to wait for Medsafe approval first. You can read more about Pharmac’s expansion of the parallel assessment pathway here.

While Pharmac will currently consider applications for medicines for rare disorders without Medsafe approval if they have been approved by an international regulatory authority, Pharmac’s rare disorder policy principles and procedures are such that very few of the medicines we are advocating for with our Rare Disorder community are currently able to utilise this pathway.

We hope the expansion of the parallel assessment pathway will lead to more efficiency as well as reduce barriers experienced by those submitting applications for rare disorder medicines, ultimately bringing us a step closer to faster and vaster access to emerging medicines, as well as many standard of care medicines that are not currently available to New Zealanders.

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