Pharmac seeking bids from suppliers for continuous glucose monitors, insulin pumps and insulin pump consumables

Media release Medicines

Te Pātaka Whaioranga - Pharmac is seeking commercial bids from suppliers for the supply of funded Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGMs), insulin pumps, and insulin pump consumables for people living with type 1 diabetes.

“We are really pleased to be at the stage where we can consider funding CGMs, thanks to receiving our largest budget increase in 2022,” says Pharmac’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr David Hughes. “We understand that for many of the 17,000 New Zealanders living with type 1 diabetes having funded access to these devices would be life changing.”

“As with all commercial processes there is some uncertainty, as the outcome depends on what bids we receive from suppliers. However, we think funding CGMs will be possible.”

The Request for Proposals (RFP) is a stage in government procurement processes that allows multiple suppliers to submit proposals for particular products or services (including details such as product brand and pricing). As a government agency, Pharmac is required to run a fair, open and transparent procurement process.

“The benefit of running an RFP is that we will be able to look at all available products and how they’d be used side by side, comparing them to ensure we fund the best possible products.”

“The process of an RFP is complex as we are not just looking at one product or one person’s situation. Because it will require an all-of-sector response to realise the benefits equitably, it will take several months to assess bids, identify the best options, complete contractual negotiations, and consult on proposed brands, access criteria and implementation plans.”

As the procurement activity progresses, Pharmac will be working with the diabetes community and will share more information with the wider public.

Procurement progress update page

“We encourage people to share their views about usability and suitability aspects of CGMs and insulin pumps that are important to them with Diabetes NZ who will collate and share this with us. Following the release of the RFP we’ll hold various meetings with stakeholders to increase input into the process and then evaluate the bids received, before public consultation which we expect to take place at the end of 2023.”

“Our job is to assess and prioritise which new treatments will deliver the best possible health outcomes for New Zealanders from the budget we have available, and we will continue to do just that,” concludes Dr Hughes.

Learn more

In February Pharmac issued a Future Procurement Opportunity for CGMs, insulin pumps and insulin pump consumables.

Details of the assessments for the Dexcom(external link), FreeStyle Libre(external link) and Medtronic CGMs(external link) are available on the application tracker. Suppliers of other brands of CGMs are also able to participate in the procurement process.

Pharmac understands that there is emerging evidence supporting the use of CGMs for people with type 2 diabetes, but we have not received or assessed a funding application for this indication. The outcome of this process would not prevent us from considering funding of CGMs for type 2 diabetes in the future.

Through this RFP, Pharmac intends to contract with suppliers to secure supply of a range of suitable insulin pumps, insulin pump consumables and CGMs.