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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brand and funding changes
New tender listings for 1 November 2017
- Allopurinol (DP-Allopurinol) 100 and 300 mg tab
- Anastrozole (Rolin) 1 mg tab
- Ethinyloestradiol with levonorgestrel (Microgynon 20ED) 20 mcg/100 mcg with inert tab
- Ethinyloestradiol with levonorgestrel (Levlen ED) 30 mcg/150 mcg with inert tab
Macrogol 3350 with potassium chloride, sodium
bicarbonate and sodium chloride (Molaxole) powder for oral soln
Metoclopramide hydrochloride (Metoclopramide Actavis 10) 10 mg tab
Simvastatin (Simvastatin Mylan) 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg and 80 mg tab
Terbinafine (Deolate) 250 mg tab
Travoprost (Travopt) 0.004% eye drops, 5 ml OP
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.
Venlafaxine brand change
Enlafax XR is the only funded brand of venlafaxine. People who want to keep using their current brand of venlafaxine can ask their pharmacist about price and availability.
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.
Chicken pox vaccine
We are being asked to clarify the funding for varicella (chickenpox) vaccine. One dose is funded for children born on or after 1 April 2016 ie turning 15 months after 1 July 2017. One dose is also funded for previously unvaccinated children that haven’t had chickenpox and turn 11 years old after 1 July 2017. Information on funded vaccines, including chickenpox, can be found on the Immunisation Advisory Centre (external link) 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.
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 December 2017.
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 in monthly lots. Stat dispensing (ie three months all-at-once) remains suspensed until further notice.
Macrogol 400 and propylene glycol eye drops (Systane Unit Dose)
There is a potential out-of-stock for this product. We have temporarily listed the alternative, Systane Ultra Unit dose until 1 November 2017.
Hepatitis B vaccine (HBvaxPro)
There is a supply issue with this product. It is not expected to be available until mid-2018. We are working on listing alternative products.
Trifluoperazine (Stelazine and Apo-Trifluoperazine)
Supplies of trifluoperazine 1 mg are now exhausted. There is some stock remaining of the 5 mg. Patients should be switched to alternative treatments.
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: 19 October 2017