Former Deputy PM Paula Bennett appointed Pharmac board chair

Former Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett has been appointed as the new board chair of the drug-buying agency Pharmac.

Associate Health Minister David Seymour announced the appointment on Sunday morning.

“Pharmac is a critical part of New Zealand’s health system and plays a significant role in ensuring that Kiwis have the best possible access to medicines,” Seymour said.

“As chair, Paula will lead the Pharmac board in their role of managing the pharmaceutical schedule and driving greater efficiencies and access to medicine for New Zealanders.”

Seymour said he was confident Bennett had the right leadership and decision-making skills for the role.

“Paula brings a wealth of experience to this role, with extensive experience in governance and organisational change.”

During her 15-year political career, Bennett served as deputy prime minister under Sir Bill English and a Cabinet minister with portfolios including social development, associate finance, state services, social housing, police, local government, and tourism.

Seymour said Pharmac board chair was an important role.

“Globally, changes in medicine are making them more useful and presenting new opportunities for our health, while at the same time presenting new challenges that need to be navigated.”

Former Pharmac board chair Steve Maharey, who was previously a Labour minister, resigned from the role – and as the board chair of the Accident Compensation Corporation – in December last year.

Seymour thanked acting chair Dr Peter Bramley for serving in the role during the search for a replacement.

He said Bramley would remain as a Pharmac board member.

Bennett will start in the role on 13 May.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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