PHARMAC scope expanded

PHARMAC is expanding its hold on the medical industry, by taking over control of all hospital and other medical devices within two years.

The government agency already buys New Zealand's pharmaceuticals and is now doubling its workload to manage all devices by 2015.

It has already taken over the management of some items, such as diabetes tests and intrauterine devices.

Acting CEO Peter Moodie says there are potentially 250,000 devices to be managed by their staff.

He says the switchover will save the district health boards $500 million over five years.

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