Saturday, June 22, 2024

Medicines and Medical Devices: Pharmac’s Efforts to Address Global Supply Issues

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Supply issues, synonymous with potential disruptions in accessing funded medicines and medical devices, are a global concern transcending sectors. Various factors contribute to these challenges, ranging from shipping and distribution hurdles to shifts in demand, manufacturing complications, or quality assurance issues. Moreover, external events such as natural disasters or global pandemics can further exacerbate supply chain vulnerabilities, given the international scope of pharmaceutical production.

Pharmac employs a proactive approach to tackle supply issues, leveraging its contractual agreements with suppliers and close collaborations with industry stakeholders. Through these mechanisms, Pharmac endeavors to maintain adequate stock levels within New Zealand and promptly address emerging supply concerns. Regular communication with suppliers allows for the sharing of vital information on supply and demand forecasts, facilitating preemptive measures to avert potential shortages.

Pharmac’s Strategy to Ensure Medical Devices and Medicines Availability Amid Supply Constraints

When confronted with supply constraints, Pharmac relies on the expertise of its advisory committees, comprised of healthcare professionals, to assess the impact on patients’ health and explore alternative solutions. Additionally, engagements with Te Whatu Ora provide insights into broader health system implications, fostering collaborative efforts to mitigate disruptions effectively.

Partnerships with suppliers, wholesalers, regulatory authorities like Medsafe, and even Customs, are pivotal in ensuring uninterrupted product availability. In instances like the catheter shortage in 2024, swift action facilitated by these collaborations enabled the timely importation of alternative stock, preventing any disruptions to essential healthcare services.

Medical Devices

Pharmac Ensures Continuous Access to Medicines and Medical Devices Amid Discontinuations

Addressing product discontinuations, a common occurrence in the pharmaceutical landscape, Pharmac diligently explores alternative sourcing options. Through measures like tender processes and negotiations with alternative suppliers, Pharmac endeavors to secure continued access to essential medications for patients. For instance, following API Consumer Brands’ exit from the New Zealand market, Pharmac initiated robust procurement strategies to secure alternative suppliers, ensuring uninterrupted access to critical treatments.

Pharmac adopt flexible strategies to manage supply challenges, including adjusting dispensing quantities, revising dispensing frequencies, or amending Special Authority criteria. These adaptive measures ensure optimal resource allocation and facilitate seamless transitions for patients requiring alternative treatments.

In essence, Pharmac’s dedicated teams are committed to upholding the health and well-being of New Zealanders by navigating the complex pharmaceutical landscape with diligence and foresight. Through strategic partnerships, proactive measures, and agile responses to emerging challenges, Pharmac continues to fulfill its mandate of ensuring uninterrupted access to essential medicines and medical devices, thereby safeguarding public health.


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Resource: Pharmac, June 07, 2024

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