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Brand and funding changes
Rivaroxaban tablets - new listing
Rivaroxaban (Xarelto) will be funded from 1 August 2018. There will be no longer be Special Authority criteria applying to rivaroxaban. Rivaroxaban - like all anticoagulants - increases your risk of bleeding or bruising.
Denosumab for osteoporosis - new listing
Denosumab will be funded from 1 July 2018 for people with severe, established osteoporosis, subject to Special Authority criteria.
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.
We have also listed a trivalent vaccine (from 1 July 2018) suitable for both adults and children, to be used when the quadrivalent vaccine is not available.
Diabetes meters and strips
If you are using CareSens II, Freestyle Optium/Neo and Accu-Chek Performa meters, you'll need to change to a new meter. After 31 July 2018, we won't fund test strips for these meters.
Isotretinoin - brand change
The funded brand of isotretinoin will change from 1 August 2018. From 1 October 2018, there may be a part charge for Isotane. From 1 January 2019, Oratane will be the only brand funded. Isotane will no longer be funded.
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 created a temporary stock issue. The shingles vaccine is now back in stock.
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.
To help manage the supply of montelukast tablets, we have listed an alternative brand of montelukast and have asked pharmacists to dispense montelukast tablets in monthly lots (rather than 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 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: 2 August 2018