COVID-19: PAH Panel applications
The Special Authority criteria for use of some pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) treatments require a number of tests, including interventional tests.
Page last updated: 30 March 2020
Some of these tests cannot be done remotely via phone or video conference.
We want to reduce the demand on the health sector while New Zealand responds to COVID-19. This is a rapidly evolving situation. We want to ensure ongoing and practical access to treatments as needed.
PAH Panel approvals for ambrisentan, epoprostenol, iloprost
We know our experts on the PAH Panel will be stretched during this response. So we have made the following changes to our approach:
Initial applications during the COVID-19 response
- The PAH Panel will assess applications on the information available. A lack of access to diagnostic tests should not prevent access to treatment at this time.
- PHARMAC staff will process these applications using PHARMAC’s Special Authority waiver process.
- Where the PAH Panel is unavailable due to COVID-19-related commitments, PHARMAC will aim to use internal resources to assess applications.
Renewal applications during the COVID-19 response
For patients with Special Authority approvals that are due to expire in March, April and May 2020 – we are extending the Special Authority by 3 months without requiring a renewal application.
This will be a manual process. We will email clinicians to confirm the extensions. This may take a few days. Clinicians will need to let patients know if they have had an extension to their approval; we are unable to do this.
After this initial extension, we anticipate that the clinician will need to renew the application as usual, but with the following changes:
- Any relevant practitioner can make an application.
- PHARMAC will approve these applications without seeking the advice of the Panel, unless there is significant uncertainty.
Other PAH treatments
We have also made changes to the bosentan and sildenafil Special Authority criteria in response to COVID-19.
Who to contact
If you have any questions about these changes, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Last updated: 15 April 2020