The decision to go with a single provider of blood sugar meters has eroded choice for the 120,000 people using meters, says Diabetes New Zealand.
Deborah Connor, the president of Diabetes New Zealand, said it was disappointed with Pharmac’s decision, announced yesterday, to sign-up to a single provider deal and fund only four CareSens meters and stop funding other meters.
“People with diabetes, particularly those with Type 1 diabetes, have been clear about the desire and need for choice and this decision has completely eroded this.”
She said although Diabetes NZ understood Pharmac’s decision-making process, it strongly believed that the savings of $10 million over five years should go towards fully-funded continuous glucose meter systems (CGMS), in the first instance for all people with Type 1 diabetes. The saved money should also be used to introduce and fund the new diabetes medicines approved by the Pharmacology and Therapeutics Advisory Committee, she believed.
“It would be unsatisfactory if the savings made by limiting meter choice to sole supply are not reinvested in improving the lives of people with diabetes.”
Pharmac announced yesterday it had negotiated a sole supplier agreement with Pharmco to supply four fully-funded CareSens meters – two of them not currently funded. Also from August 1 it will stop funding the Freestyle Optimum and Accu-Check Performa meters and test strips currently used by about 3000 people.
The consultation feedback published on Pharmac’s website showed it had a number of submissions concerned about technical issues with the CareSens meters, the removal of choice and the need to fund CGMS.