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Brand and funding changes
Pregabalin and gabapentin
Pregabalin will be funded from 1 May 2018 and we will be making changes to the funding of gabapentin from June.
Quadrivalent influenza vaccine
Two quadrivalen flu vaccines were listed 1 March 2018.
Influvac Tetra is funded for people meeting eligibility criteria over three years of age. People 65 years of age or over and pregnant women can choose to receive their funded flu vaccine from their general practice or their community pharmacy.
Fluarix Tetra will be funded only for children meeting eligibility criteria who are aged 6 months to 35 months. This vaccine wont be available from pharmacies.
Diabetes meters and strips
Changes to the funding for some diabetes meters and strips commenced 1 February 2018. If you are using CareSens II, Freestyle Optium/Neo and Accu-Chek Performa meters, you'll need to change to a new meter.
Aflibercept injections are funded from 1 June 2018 for people with wet age related macular degeneration and diabetic macular oedema subject to Special Authority criteria.
Patients may be required to collect the injection from their community pharmacist and bring to their ophthalmologist for administrated. Patients will need to be educated on the correct storage instructions.
From 1 April 2018, the shingles vaccine will be funded for 65 year olds. A catch-up programme will be available for the first two years, for people 66-80 years inclusively.
The high uptake of this vaccine has created a stock issue while we wait for the next delivery. Vaccinators may need to delay providing the vaccine for a few weeks.
HPV vaccine (Gardasil)
Remaining stock of Gardasil 9 vaccine is being limited to school based programmes and high risk patients (people with HIV infection, transplant patients and post chemotherapy). More stock is expected in September 2018.
Durex Confidence condoms
We are continuing to manage a stock issue with Durex Confidence (56 mm) condoms. Other types remain available.
We have asked pharmacies to limit dispensing to 72 instead of 144 in the short term.
There's an international shortage of BCG vaccine which is used to vaccinate infants at increased risk of tuberculosis (TB). There is no stock currently in NZ. The World Health Organization has prioritized supply to high-risk countries where TB is highly endemic. We'll keep you updated on this.
Travoprost eye drops
The Travatan brand of travoprost eye drops 0.0004% will be relisted fully from 1 June 2018 due to a potential shortage of Travopt.
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: 18 June 2018