Proposal to list medical devices supplied by Obex Medical Limited

Hospital devices Consultation Closed

PHARMAC is seeking feedback on a proposal to list a range of medical devices in Part III of Section H of the Pharmaceutical Schedule from 1 June 2018, through a provisional agreement with Obex Medical Limited (“Obex").

We propose to list a range of:

  • medical thermometers
  • single use instruments
  • medical devices used in the prevention of venous thromboembolism (“VTE Prevention”)
Consultation closes at 4pm on Wednesday, 18 April 2018 and feedback can be emailed to

What would the effect be?

For DHBs

From 1 June 2018, Obex’s range of medical thermometers, single use instruments and VTE Prevention products, would be listed under the proposed national agreement for all DHBs to purchase under, subject to consultation and approval by PHARMAC’s Board or delegate (“Agreement”).

This agreement would not be for sole supply, with DHBs continuing to be able to purchase other suppliers’ brands of medical thermometers, single use instruments and VTE Prevention products.

The Agreement would however supersede any existing DHB contracts with Obex, for the devices included in the Agreement. Any device listed in the Agreement and purchased by a DHB Hospital would be at the price, terms and conditions stated in the Agreement, effective from the date of listing on the Pharmaceutical Schedule.

PHARMAC estimates the national financial impact of this Agreement, across all DHBs, would be $49,000 savings per annum, based on current usage levels. This consists of $8,000 savings per annum for medical thermometers and $41,000 savings per annum for VTE Prevention products.

As part of the Agreement, Obex would provide educational services that would be tailored to the individual needs of DHB Hospitals, in formats and at times as required by DHB Hospitals.

Who we think will be interested

  • Suppliers and Wholesalers
  • DHB staff:
    • Clinicians
    • Procurement and supply chain personnel
    • Sterile services personnel

About medical thermometers, single use instruments and VTE Prevention products

Medical thermometers

Medical thermometers are used to measure a patient’s body temperature. The ability to detect or monitor fever or hypothermia is vital in patient assessment, to guide treatment options and management. The accurate measurement of temperature is important and medical thermometer products come in a range of presentations for different clinical requirements. Temperature probes can be invasive but deliver constant readings, electronic and infrared thermometers provide one-off measurement and temperature strips provide temperature appraisal with the least disruption to patients.

Single use instruments

Single use instruments are designed to be used once and then disposed of or destroyed – these are also known as disposable instruments. Some single use instruments may be used in many hospital settings such as operating theatres, emergency departments, wards and clinics.

While volumes of single use instruments are growing, usage varies in each hospital with many using a combination of single use and reusable instruments.

PHARMAC has not undertaken any work to compare the use or cost effectiveness of single use instruments with reusable instruments, and this proposal does not require hospitals to switch from reusable instruments.

VTE Prevention products

The risk of events related to VTE, such as Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Embolism (PE), increase following prolonged confinement following surgery or illness. VTE Prevention products are used to reduce this risk, often in association with medicines, and include Graduated Compression Stockings, Intermittent Pneumatic Compression devices and Venous Foot Pump devices.

Why we’re proposing this 

In 2016 PHARMAC issued Requests for Proposals (“RFPs”) for medical thermometers, single use instruments and VTE Prevention products. The RFPs were for non-exclusive national agreements for listing in the Pharmaceutical Schedule.

PHARMAC has been working with suppliers who responded to the RFPs to seek provisional agreements and this proposal is the latest to arise from these processes. We expect to consult on further proposed agreements with suppliers over the next few months.

Details about our proposal

PHARMAC has entered into a provisional Agreement with Obex for a range of medical thermometers, single use instruments and VTE Prevention products. Pricing has been made available to appropriate DHB personnel.

This proposal would result in Schedule listings for 26 medical thermometer products, 55 single use instrument products and 39 VTE Prevention products. Brand ranges in the agreement include:

Medical thermometers

  • Vital Signs probes and cables

Single use instruments

  • Lonestar
  • Matrix Surgical
  • Twinklestar

VTE Prevention products

  • SafeFeet Graduated Compression Stockings
  • Venosan
  • J G Borrows

To provide feedback

Send us an email: by 4pm, Wednesday 18 April 2018.

All feedback received before the closing date will be considered by PHARMAC’s Board (or its delegate) prior to making a decision on this proposal.

Feedback we receive is subject to the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA) and we will consider any request to have information withheld in accordance with our obligations under the OIA. Anyone providing feedback, whether on their own account or on behalf of an organisation, and whether in a personal or professional capacity, should be aware that the content of their feedback and their identity may need to be disclosed in response to an OIA request.

We are not able to treat any part of your feedback as confidential unless you specifically request that we do, and then only to the extent permissible under the OIA and other relevant laws and requirements. If you would like us to withhold any commercially sensitive, confidential proprietary, or personal information included in your submission, please clearly state this in your submission and identify the relevant sections of your submission that you would like it withheld. PHARMAC will give due consideration to any such request.