MDL has carried out a number of strategic policy assignments for the Pharmacy Guild to assist the Guild in its negotiations with district health boards and with central government over the role and funding of community pharmacy.
See a selection of pharmacy-related papers in the Resources section of our website.
Pharmacy is a really good example of the need for good strategic public policy to support what is essentially private sector activity. Pharmacists operate in a dual world as part retailers and part public health professionals, something which has caused immense difficulty in agreeing on an equitable funding basis for the role pharmacists play in dispensing prescriptions.
Using a combination of our public policy skills, and our ability to draw on and interpret international research, we have been able to highlight the true benefits of community pharmacy especially in the management of medication, providing new ground, and a different logic, for contract negotiation.
Managing the Government's Pharmaceutical Budget
Our knowledge of the pharmacy sector extends into government pharmaceutical purchasing through MDL Principal Adrienne von Tunzelmann's seven years service as a board director for New Zealand’s Pharmaceutical Management Agency. PHARMAC is responsible for managing the approximate $700m Community Pharmaceutical Budget and deciding which medicines are publicly funded in New Zealand and to what level. Its decisions, on behalf of District Health Boards (DHBs), are consistently evidence-based and involve wide consultation, expert technical input and a community perspective from advisory groups, and complex assessment and analysis. PHARMAC’s decisions are far-reaching - they affect the lives of almost every New Zealander in terms of their access to medicines – and attract intense public and clinical scrutiny. Pharmac’s other roles include promoting the best possible use of medicines; managing national contracts for some medicines and related products used in public hospitals; and engaging in research, policy work and support to others in the health sector.
Her experience in this role has encompassed setting strategic direction and strategy, competitive purchasing and procurement for pharmaceuticals, resource allocation, equity, health impact assessment and stakeholder relationship management.