Former hospital pharmacist Sarah Fitt has been announced as the new chief executive of Pharmac.

Yesterday’s announcement of Fitt’s appointment follows Pharmac announcing on Monday that current chief executive Steffan Crausaz was stepping down after six years in the post to take up a new role in the private sector.

Fitt is currently Pharmac’s director of operations and has worked in executive positions at Pharmac for more than five years.  Previously she was Chief Pharmacist at Auckland Hospital and also worked as a clinical pharmacist in the United Kingdom where she specialised in the management of patients with liver disease.

Pharmac board chair Stuart McLauchlan in announcing her appointment said Fitt was “one of the most outstanding clinical leaders in New Zealand”.  “Her experience is going to be vital for the continuity of Pharmac and we wanted to ensure that we retained that talent”.

Fitt will take up the position from January 6 next year.

Outgoing CEO Crausaz was with Pharmac for more than 14 years and during his tenure as CEO he led the extension of Pharmac into hospital medicines, vaccines and medical device.  He said he had been a passionate advocate for building on the “evidence-based and commercially astute” reputation of Pharmac while also making the organisation easier to engage with and “developing its more approachable character”.

“When Pharmac does its job well more patients are able to benefit from medicines and health services that otherwise would not be available to them,” said Crausaz.

McLauchlan said Crausaz had made a huge contribution to Pharmac and the New Zealand health sector, and was sad for the board that he had decided to take up a new role.


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