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Brand and funding changes
New tender listings for 1 December 2017
- Amoxicillin (Alphamox 125) grans for oral liq 125 mg per 5 ml, 100 ml
- Bicalutamide (Binarex) tab 50 mg
- Fluconazole (Mylan) cap 50 mg, 150 mg and 200 mg
- Ibuprofen (Relieve) tab 200 mg
- Oxybutynin (Ditropan) tab 5 mg
- Pravastatin (Apo-Pravastatin) tab 20 mg
Dexamethasone ocular implant (Ozurdex)
Dexamethasone ocular implant 700 mcg will be listed from 1 November 2017, subject to restrictions, for the treatment of diabetic macular oedema. This treatment is administered by an opththalmologist and is particularly suitable for patients who have previously had cataract
surgery, and for whom anti-VEGF agents (such as bevacizumab) are considered unsuitable or contraindicated.
Emergency contraceptive pill - pharmacist provision without a prescription
From 1 December 2017, pharmacists will be able to provide funded emergency contraceptive pill (ECP) in the form of levonorgestrel 1.5 mg tablet without a prescription from a prescriber.
If pharmacists have questions about providing this service, they should contact their DHB pharmacy portfolio manager or visit the TAS website.
Ferric carboxymaltose injection (Ferinject)
Ferric carboxymaltose injection (Ferinject) will be listed from 1 October 2017, funded for patients with iron-deficiency anaemia meeting Special Authority criteria. There will be regional variation in how these services are provided in primary care and prescribers will need to liaise with their local DHB.
Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) – pharmacist prescribing
From 1 October 2017, pharmacists will be able to authorise funded nicotine replacement therapy products for their patients without prescription.
Venlafaxine brand change
The default dispensing period for venlafaxine will change to three months all-at-once (stat) from 1 December 2017. However, if a pharmacist or prescriber considers that thee months' supply is not suitable for an individual patient, then smaller quantities may be given.
Pemetrexed (Juno Pemetrexed) injection
Pemetrexed injections will be listed from 1 November 2017, funded for people with mesothelioma and non-small cell lung carcinoma, subject to meeting Special Authority criteria. Pemetrexed will be listed PCT only, meaning that only a DHB hospital can claim subsidy for the treatment.
Metoprolol sole supply
Betaloc will be Sole Supply from March 2018.
The currently funded brand of colecalciferol, Vit.D3, is the only product registered with Medsafe. The previously funded brand, Cal-d-Forte no longer has regulatory consent. We are aware of the issue of suitability for patients with peanut and soya allergies. PHARMAC does manage a process for considering funding for unusual clinical circumstances. We suggest people discusses this option with their doctor.
We have been actively managing a supply issue with Ava 30ED and Levlen 30ED brands of oral contraceptive. Stock of the Levlen 30ED is now available and pharmacies may dispense stat (ie six months all-at-once).
Refresh Night Time (liquid paraffin with white soft paraffin)
There is a supply issue with Refresh Night Time (liquid paraffin with white soft paraffin eye ointment. We are expecting further supply in February 2018.
Prednisolone eye drops
We're working through a supply issue with the AFT brand. An alternative, Pred Forte, has been listed and is now available.
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 expect more BCG to be delivered to NZ around February 2018. We'll keep you updated on this.
Quinapril with hydrochlorothiazide (Accuretic 20)
Stock of Accuretic 20 is now available. Pharmacies can resume dispensing stat (ie three months all-at-once).
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 a new breast cancer treatment for hormone receptor (HR) positive HER2 negative advanced or metastatic breast cancer. It's recently received Medsafe registration.
PHARMAC hasn't received a funding application for this treatment.
Freestyle Libre glucose monitoring system
We are now assessing funding applications for Freestyle Libre.
Last updated: 11 December 2017