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 email@example.com.
Brand and funding changes
Emtricitabine with tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (Truvada) - HIV preventionTruvada is now funded for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for prevention of HIV infection for people at high risk of contracting HIV. More information on Truvada for PrEP
Quadrivalent influenza vaccine
Two quadrivalen flu vaccines will be listed from 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.
Diabetes meters and strips
From 1 February 2018, we will be making some changes to the funding for some 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.
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.
Levetiracetam (Levetiracetam-AFT) oral liq 100 mg per mlA proprietary oral liquid was listed from 1 February 2018. Compounding using Ora products will no longer be required or funded. Levetiracetam-AFT is grape flavoured and will have an expiry of 7 months from opening at room temperature. The pack contains a 10 ml graduated oral dosing syringe and adaptor.
Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) treatments
We will be making PAH treatments available to more people and making it easier for clinicians to apply for funding.
Venlafaxine dispensing period
The default dispensing period for venlafaxine changed 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.
The 6 mg per ml, 10 ml injection will be out of stock for several months. There is sufficient stock of the 3 mg per ml, 10 ml strength.
Hydrocortisone butyrate (Locoid) ointment
Locoid ointment is out of stock. Stock is expected to be available by the end of January 2018. There is stock of Locoid Lipocream which could be considered as an alternative.
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.
We will return to dispensing stat (ie three months all-at-once) from 1 March 2018.
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: 21 March 2018