9 Aug 2012

Sole-supplier for diabetes tests not a worry - Pharmac

10:00 am on 9 August 2012

Pharmac says a deal in which a single supplier provides the health systems diabetes tests will be no threat to supplies of the equipment.

The State drug-buying agency confirmed on Wednesday it intends to move to a single supplier of blood glucose meters and test strips to 120,000 people, a move it says will save $10 million per year.

Over 30,000 people responded when submissions were called on the proposal, many of them saying they are worried about the change, in which three meters and two test strips made by a Korean firm will be supplied by a New Zealand company, Pharmaco.

Pharmac chief executive Steffan Crausaz says Pharmaco is required to keep four months stock in the country at all times. The new regime will cost $1 million to implement during a six month change-over period that begins in September.

Society for the Study of Diabetes medical director Paul Drury says people will have to be shown how to use the meters.