Pharmac says a new blood-thinning drug, which has caused bleeding in some patients, went through all the safety checks before it was funded.
At least two people have died and 36 patients have reported bleeds while taking dabigatran, which is an alternative to warfarin.
Pharmac's medical director Peter Moodie says the agency knew there was a risk of patients suffering bleeding on the drug and did 14 months of research before putting it on their schedule.
Dr Moodie says bleeding in patients is a risk in taking both dabigatran and warfarin and it is monitoring the incidents closely.
He says between 6000 - 10,000 and people in New Zealand are on dabigatran and GPs were given significant amounts of information about the drug.