President Report - March 2015

The main feature of the previous year was a half day workshop on economic modelling on October 31, which had 30 registrations. Associate Prof. Richard Milne gave an introduction to economic modelling. Professor Paul Scuffham (Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia), gave a presentation on economic modelling at the intermediate level, and another on decision-making by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) in Australia.  James Harris (PHARMAC) gave a presentation on decision-making by PHARMAC. Discussion following the two presentations concluded that New Zealand’s decision process is budget driven, with a focus on relative cost effectiveness in any given financial year. This approach controls expenditure on pharmaceuticals but limits access to many new pharmaceuticals, including oncology agents. In contrast, Australia’s decision process is based on both absolute cost effectiveness and budget impact, with the potential for expanding the pharmaceuticals budget, possibly to the detriment of other healthcare services (although this has not been proven). Australia has a more rigorous economic evaluation process, which incorporates external academic review of submissions by the pharmaceutical industry.

The Executive Committee decided that two educational workshops should be given in 2015, and that a regular newsletter should be developed. The local website has fallen into abeyance and will be reactivated. ISPOR NZ is represented on ‘LinkedIn’ and on the website of the parent organisation (ISPOR).

Membership is stable at about 25, and a more vigorous campaign is required to provide more value to members and to recruit additional members. ISPOR NZ has an important role to play in New Zealand, and it needs more active participation by the membership so that it can help upskill the healthcare workforce and provide a unique input to government decision-making on healthcare delivery.

Today marks the last day of my term as President of ISPOR New Zealand. I have been privileged to help develop the New Zealand chapter of ISPOR, and work with many committee members during the last 4 years. Personally, I would like to thank the outgoing committee, most of whom will be returning for a second term. In particular, I would also like to acknowledge Ray Kirk and Chris Carswell for their work as Treasurer and Secretary over the past 3 years, and Susan Francis for her recent enthusiastic secretarial work. We now have a strong and committed Executive Committee, and I look forward to great progress this year under the direction of the new President, Chris Carswell.  Chris has strong links with the international parent society, and I will do my best to support him in my new capacity as Past President.


Richard Milne PhD, retiring President

Adapted from Annual General Meeting of the New Zealand chapter of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR NZ)