Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Pharmac stacks on workers with bigger remit

Pharmac stacks on workers after expanding in medical devices, vaccines

By Olivia Bascand

Feb. 3 (BusinessDesk) – Pharmac, which manages an annual drug-funding budget of more than $780 million, plans to extend a three-year hiring spree after expanding in medical devices, vaccines and hospital medicines.

The Pharmaceutical Management Agency will increase its workforce to about 130 from 110 currently, having added 70 workers in the past three years.

The state-funded body has taken on more floor space, hired an architect to oversee a revamp of its Wellington headquarters and put out a tender for IT advice that would allow staff to work remotely, according to a request for information posted on the government’s GETS tender website.

“Pharmac is undergoing a period of rapid growth, including a dramatic increase in staff numbers,” the body says in its tender notice.

Pharmac funded a record 42.2 million prescriptions last year, with 3.4 million New Zealanders getting subsidised medicines, also a record, according to its latest annual report.

In 2012, the government agreed to a plan for Pharmac to progressively expand its management and procurement of hospital devices and consumables, which cost District Health Boards some $880 million in the 2011 year and are rising faster than increases in the DHBs’ funding.

Pharmac tends to cop criticism from consumers in trying to squeeze the best possible health outcomes from the government’s health budget. Trying to meet the public’s growing demand for new medicines within a defined budget is “challenging,” the body says on its website.

At the same time, drug companies have criticised the centralised buying agency, saying it has stifled development of drugs in New Zealand, while being reluctant to fund high-cost medicines to treat rare diseases.

Pharmac has also reportedly featured in confidential negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, the first free trade agreement linking Asia, the Pacific and the Americas.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Lower Levy For Safer Cars: ACC Backtracks On Safety Assessments

Dog and Lemon: “The ACC has based the entire levy system on a set of badly flawed data from Monash University. This Monash data is riddled with errors and false assumptions; that’s the real reason for the multiple mistakes in setting ACC levies.” More>>

ALSO:

Fast Track: TPP Negotiations Set To Accelerate, Groser Says

Negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership will accelerate in July, with New Zealand officials working to stitch up a deal by the month's end, according to Trade Minister Tim Groser. More>>

ALSO:

Floods: Initial Assessment Of Economic Impact

Authorities around the region have compiled an initial impact assessment for the Ministry of Civil Defence, putting the estimated cost of flood recovery at around $120 million... this early estimate includes social, built, and economic costs to business, but doesn’t include costs to the rural sector. More>>

ALSO:

Food: Govt Obesity Plan - No Tax Or Legislation

Speaking to Q+A’s Corin Dann this morning, health minister Jonathan Coleman said tackling obesity was at the top of the Government’s priority list, but there was “no evidence” a sugar tax worked, and further regulation was unnecessary. More>>

ALSO:

Treasury Docs On LVR Policy: Government Inaction Leads To Blurring Of Roles

The Treasury wouldn’t have had to warn the Reserve Bank to stick to its core functions if the Government had taken prompt and substantial measures to rein in skyrocketing Auckland house prices, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. More>>

ALSO:

Final EPA Decision: Tough Bar Set For Ruataniwha Dam

Today’s final decision by the Tukituki Catchment Board of Inquiry is good news for the river and the environment, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri. “Setting a strict level of dissolved nitrogen in the catchment’s waters will ensure that the dam has far less of an impact on the Tukituki river." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news