COVID-19: Sacubitril with valsartan (Entresto)
Sacubitril with valsartan is a medicine used in the management of clinically significant, treatment refractory heart failure.
Last updated: 25 March 2020
Given the current uncertainties and potential strains on the wider health sector, we are focused on ensuring minimal interruption to access to health care for people and want to ensure ongoing and practical access to treatments as needed.
Requirement for ECHO amended from 1 April 2020
PHARMAC is aware that ECHOs may be impractical while the New Zealand health sector is responding to COVID-19. As such, we have amended the Special Authority criteria to allow access to this medicine, even where an ECHO has not been conducted. This change comes into effect on 1 April 2020.
An ECHO is a test that is used to determine left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF). This is a measure of how well the heart is working.
Where a patient has a documented LVEF, the requirement remains that they must have LVEF of less than or equal to 35%.
If there's no documented LVEF, clinicians may rely on their own judgment.
PHARMAC considers that the NYHA/WHO functional class categorisation can be assesed remotely, using information given to the health care professional by the patient or their whānau.
The ECHO requirement will likely return
PHARMAC intends to change the criteria back to the current status once health services have stabilised to a point where it becomes practical to reinstate.
Last updated: 15 April 2020