Dr Ruth Spearing, haematologist and Trustee of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia Advocates NZ, today called for the resignation of Pharmac CEO Sarah Fitt over revelations in internal emails released under the Official Information Act. The emails concerned journalist and outspoken critic of Pharmac, Rachel Smalley.
Dr Spearing said the emails revealed a sick, sneering culture inside Pharmac and a disgraceful attitude towards a person who has had the courage to speak out on behalf of patients who have been waiting years for Pharmac decisions on medicines.
“Sarah Fitt’s comments are not just unprofessional, they are deeply offensive, and demonstrate that she is entirely unfit to manage an organisation that has control over the lives and wellbeing of thousands of New Zealanders.
“It’s clear that Ms Fitt has created a crude, jokey clique among senior Pharmac staff, swapping childish, insulting remarks about Ms Smalley, even to the extent of composing a limerick about her.
“I call on Health Minister Ayesha Verrall, State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes and Pharmac Chair Steve Maharey to show that this behaviour by the leader of a government agency cannot be tolerated, and to demand her immediate resignation,” said Dr Spearing.
Rachel Smalley: Inside the minds of Pharmac’s leadership team – NZ Herald