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Brand and funding changes
New brands of SSRI antidepressants
We are making changes to the funded brands of paroxetine, fluoxetine and sertraline.
You can find more infomation on these brand changes on the my Medicine or medical device has changed page
Lamotrigine brand change
People taking lamotrigine will need to change to the Logem brand by October. See the links below for more information about the change and our decision to change.
Condoms - new brands and changes to PSO
From 1 October 2019, we are listing Moments and Gold Knight condoms in a range of sizes and colours.
We are also reducing the number of condoms that can be dispensed at once time, or available on a practitioner supply order (PSO) from 144 condoms to 60 condoms.
The 49 mm (Moments) and 60 mm (Shield XL) nominal widths are only available in 144 packs. The maximum dispensing and PSO quantities will remain at 144 for these products.
Varenicline - Special Authority amendment
From 1 October 2019, we are amending the criteria for varenicline tartrate to allow funding for one 12-week course every 6 months for eligible people who want to quit smoking. Current funding is every 12 months.
Ferric carboxymaltose - change to applicant type
From 1 October 2019, we are amending the criteria for ferric carboxymaltose to "any relevant practitioner". This will mean that Nurse Practitioners can apply for funding for this treatment. The change will apply only to the applications for serum ferritin less than or equal to 20 mcg/L.
Tenofovir disoproxil with emtricitabine for PrEP - change to applicant type
We are amending the criteria for PrEP to allow a much wider range of prescribers to intiate PrEP treatment for prevention of HIV infection.
Doselupin [dothiepin hydrochloride] discontinuation
The supplier is discontinuing Dopress (dosulepin [dothiepin] ) tablets and capsules as these are no longer being made.
The supplier is discontinuing nitrazepam tablets as these are no longer being made.
There is a supply issue for temozolomide cap 20 mg, 100 mg, 140 mg and 250.
PHARMAC has sourced an alternative supply of stock. We are continuing to seek alternative brands of temozolomide from overseas manufacturers to manage this short term out-of-stock.
A new funded brand is due to enter the market from 1 December 2019.
Recall of Ranitidine
Mylan have issued a pharmacy level recall of all batches of Ranitidine Relief 150 mg and 300 mg tablets.
This means that there is no ranitidine available for collection from community pharmacy. People who have been prescribed ranitidine will need to contact their prescriber for an alternative treatment.
For more information on the recall see information on the Medsafe website(external link) - or contact Mylan on 0800 579 811.
Alternative funded treatments:
Ranitidine is a type of medicine called an H2 antagonist, there are no other funded H2 antagonists available in New Zealand. PHARMAC is working with suppliers to secure alternative supply of H2 antagonists.
PHARMAC will update this information as it becomes available.
Our clinical advice is that some patients may be able to be transitioned to a proton pump inhibitor. The currently funded proton pump inhibitors include:
The midwest brand of salicylic acid powder, 250 g will be listed temporarily from 1 October 2019 to assist with ongoing supply.
Sinemet (levodopa with carbidopa)
There is a supply issue with Sinemet. People using Sinemet 100/25 and 200/25 may receive an alternative brand.
People using the 200/50 strength may need to use an alternative strength. Pharmacists have more information about the alternatives for people.
We have been advised of a supply issue with Glucobay (acarbose) 50 mg and 100 mg tablets. Alternative brands are available. We have asked pharmacists to dispense acarbose in monthly lots to assist in managing the available stock.
Ivacaftor (Kaledeco) for cystic fibrosis
PHARMAC received a funding application from the supplier of ivacaftor in 2015. and we will be considering this using our usual processes. PTAC reviewed the application and recommended funding be declined. The Committee considered that, it is not a cure and the data is too immature to determine survival benefit yet.
Updated information from the suppier, Vertex was considered by our Rare Disorders Subcommittee in November 2018.
We havent received a funding application fo rlumacaftir/ivacaftor (Orkambi).
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
Continous glucose monitoring system (CGMS)
We are now assessing funding applications for CGMS, including Freestyle Libre. Following progress of these on our application tracker.
Last updated: 6 December 2019