Blood and blood forming organs
- Changes to the funding of haemophilia treatments
PHARMAC has budget management responsibilities for the recombinant factors currently listed in the Pharmaceutical Schedule including VIIa (rFVIIa), VIII (rFVIII) and IX (rFIX) and factor eight inhibitor bypassing agent.
From 1 September 2015, PHARMAC began implementing changes to the way brands of rFVIII are funded so these treatments can continue to be available for people that need them. As the result of a competitive process run by PHARMAC, Xyntha became the preferred brand of rFVIII. The other two brands will continue to be funded for people, via application to a Haemophilia Treatments Panel administered by PHARMAC.
There are about 600 people in New Zealand with haemophilia. About 230 of them use Factor VIII each year and around half of these people may be required to participate in a clinician-managed brand change. PHARMAC is working with the New Zealand Haemophilia Treaters Group, haemophilia treatment centres, the Haemophilia Foundation and pharmaceutical suppliers to ensure adequate support and resources are in place for clinicians, patients and their families during the change.
This approach is similar to those used in other countries, including the UK and Australia. However it is the first time such a brand change has taken place in New Zealand for haemophilia treatments.
In the year prior to this change, approximately $25 million was spent on recombinant haemophilia treatments in New Zealand, including $18 million on Factor VIII. The substantial savings that will be achieved will be reinvested by PHARMAC in funding of new medicines or widening access of already funded medicines.
Last updated: 10 December 2015