Enquiries - including supply issues
Information about supply issues, brand and funding changes, and unfunded treatments.
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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
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.
The supplier is discontinuing nitrazepam tablets as these are no longer being made.
There is a supply issue with Rex Medical’s brand of capecitabine 150 mg tablets. Dr Reddy’s Capercit brand of capecitabine 150 mg and 500 mg tablets were expected to be listed from 1 February 2020. In order to ensure there is no interruption in access to capecitabine tablets, PHARMAC is bringing forward the listing date of the Dr Reddy’s brand to Friday 17 January 2020.
The following products will be listed from 17 January 2020:
|Chemical and presentation||Brand||Pack Size||
Subsidy and price
|Capecitabine tab 150 mg||Capercit||Capercit 60||$10||2578115|
|Capecitabine tab 500 mg||Capercit||Capercit 120||$49||2578123|
The ‘Retail pharmacy - Specialist’ restriction will also apply to Capercit tab 150 mg and 500 mg.
Please note that the sole supply commencement date will remain 1 July 2020.
- RxOne users: the listings will be automatically updated by RxOne. If for some unforeseen circumstance it does not happen, please refer to the e-Noticeboard on the RxOne Start Menu for instructions.
- TONIQ users: the listings will automatically be updated in Toniq medicine databases from the effective date.
Please note that Ministry of Health Sector Operations Group will be unable to process claims for January 2020 dispensing of the above listings. Pharmacies can either hold these claims until February OR reclaim them in February when they are rejected for payment in January claims.
There's a supply issue affecting fluoxetine cap 20 mg. To ensure that patients continue to access fluoxetine until additional stock arrives, PHARMAC is temporarily removing the subsidy by endorsement and stat dispensing rules on the tablet dispersible 20 mg presentation.
This is effective from Friday 10 January 2020 until 1 February 2020.
- RxOne users: the new listing will be automatically updated by RxOne. If for some unforeseen circumstance it does not happen, please refer to the e-Noticeboard on the RxOne Start Menu for instructions.
- TONIQ users: the new listing will automatically be updated in Toniq medicine databases from the effective date.
Reason for issue
Due to manufacturing issues with Mylan, the Fluox brand has not been able to enter the market as planned. For this reason, the listing of Fluox cap 20 mg has been delayed. The delisting date for Teva’s Arrow-Fluoxetine cap 20 mg has also been delayed.
Mylan are currently working with the incumbent supplier, Teva, to ensure continuity of supply of fluoxetine. A small amount of stock remains available through wholesalers. Teva is expecting more stock to become available to pharmacies next week.
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.
Proton pump inhibitor
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:
H2 antagonist for people intolerant to proton pump inhibitors
For ranitidine patients who are intolerant to proton pump inhibitors, we've secured a supply of another H2 antagonist, Famotidine from Link Pharmaceuticals.
Famotidine tab 20 mg and 40 g is currently listed in Section H of the Pharmaceutical Schedule.
- From 1 January 2020, Link Pharmaceutical’s Famotidine Hovid brand of famotidine tab 20 mg (Pharmacode: 2580586) will be listed in Section B of the Pharmaceutical Schedule.
- From 1 March 2020, Link Pharmaceutical’s Famotidine Hovid brand of famotidine tab 40 mg (Pharmacode: 2580594) will be listed in Section B of the Pharmaceutical Schedule.
Stock of Famotidine Hovid tab 20 mg is expected to be available from the week beginning 16 December 2019.
Please note that Famotidine Hovid has not been approved by Medsafe, so it will need to be supplied under Section 29 of the Medicines Act 1981.
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: 23 January 2020