What are people asking us?
- To subscribe to the monthly Schedule email, go to schedule.co.nz(external link).
- For all other subscription enquiries, contact us at email@example.com.
Brand and funding changes
New tender listings for 1 October 2018
- Aqueous cream (Boucher) cream (stat reinstated)
- Azacitidine (Azacitidine Dr Reddy's) inj 100 mg
- Betamethasone dipropionate with calcipotriol (Daivobet) gel
- Cyproterone acetate (Siterone) tab 50 mg and 100 mg
- Felodipine (Felo 5ER and 10ER) tab long-acting 5 mg and 10 mg
- Metormin hydrochloride (Apotex) tab immediate-release 500 mg (listing is earlier than notified)
- Solifenacin succinate (Solifenacin Mylan) tab 5 mg and 10 mg (Special Authority is not required for this new brand).
Novartis funding package
From 1 October 2018, we are listing five new treatments, and widening access to three others.
- Ruxolitinib (Jakavi) for myelofibrosis
- Secukinubab (Cosentyx) for severe chronic plaque psoriasis
- Scubitril with valsartan (Entresto) for chronic heart failure
- Vildagliptin (Galvus) for type 2 diabetes mellitus
- Vildagliptin with metformin hydrochloride (Galvumet) for type 2 diabetes mellitus
- Eltrombopag (Revolade) for idiopathic thrombycytopenic purpura contraindicated to splenectomy, and severe aplastic anaemia
- Omalizumab (Xolair) for chronic spontaneous urticaria and severe asthma.
- Tacrolimus (Tacrolimus Sandoz) for non-transplant indication
Dilantin capsules - new formulation
We are listing a new formulation of Dilantin (phenytoin sodium). We have been advised that the new formulation is bioequivalent to the existing one, although it has a different dissolution profile. The supplier, Pfizer, has sent letters to GP practices, pharmacies and neurologists to let them know.
The packaging has "Reformulation" on the label.
Diabetes meters and strips
If you are using CareSens II, Freestyle Optium/Neo and Accu-Chek Performa meters, you'll need to change to a new meter. After 31 July 2018, we won't fund test strips for these meters.
Isotretinoin - brand change
The funded brand of isotretinoin will change from 1 August 2018. From 1 October 2018, there may be a part charge for Isotane. From 1 January 2019, Oratane will be the only brand funded. Isotane will no longer be funded.
Tiotropium - endorsement replaces Special Authority
The Special Authority criteria will be removed from tiotropium (Spiriva) from 1 October 2018. This will be replaced by an endorsement for people diagnosed with COPD using spirometry. People who have been dispensed tiotropium with a valid Special Authority approval, will be deemed to be endorsed.
When a Special Authority is removed from a medicine, prescribers and pharmacists need to be aware that applications or renewals can't be made from the 27 to 30 September 2018.
Pipothiazine palmitate (Piportil) discontinuation
Any remaining patients prescribed pipothiazine palmitate (Piportil) should be switched to alternative treatments. Remaining stock is due to expire 30 September 2018 (50 mg) and 31 December 2018 (100 mg).
Lithium carbonate (Lithicarb FC) 400 mg tablet discontinuation
Lithium carbonate (Lithicarb FC) 400 mg tablet has been discontinued and will be delisted 1 March 2019. The 250 mg tablets remain available for now. 400 mg long-acting tablets and 250 mg capsules remain available.
HPV vaccine (Gardasil)
More stock of HPV vaccine has arrived. We are working on getting stock first to school based programmes and high risk patients (people with HIV infection, transplant patients and post chemotherapy). The Ministry of Health will keep vaccinators informed.
Medroxyprogesterone acetate (Provera) - removal of stat dispensing
From 1 October 2018 until 1 November 2018, stat (three months all-at-once) dispensing will be removed from medroxyprogesterone acetate (Provera) tablets due to ta potential supply issue.
BCG vaccine is back in stock following an international shortage. The Ministry of Health will provide updates to vaccinators.
Montelukast is back in stock. From 1 October 2018, pharmacists can dispense thee months all-at-once (stat).
Doctors are now able to prescribe medicines that contain cannabidiol (CBD). PHARMAC takes a consistent and evidence-based approach to consider the funding of any medicine. No application for funding any products that contain cannabidiol has yet demonstrated to us that it is the next best use of the public funds available for medicines. Contact Ministry of Health to find out more about prescribing cannabis-based products
Palbociclib is an oral treatment indicated for patients with hormone receptor (HR)-positive human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative locally-advanced or metastatic breast cancer.
PHARMAC has received a funding application from the supplier of palbociclib and we will be considering this using our usual processes.
Freestyle Libre glucose monitoring system
We are now assessing funding applications for Freestyle Libre.
Last updated: 9 October 2018