Amlodipine: Supply issue
Amlodipine (brand Apo-Amlodipine) supplied by Apotex is in short supply in all strengths.
On this page:
- Background to this stock issue
- Apo-Amlodipine supply
- Vasorex is the new funded brand
- Information for people who use amlodipine
- Information for prescribers
- Information for pharmacists
- Who to contact
Amlodipine (brand Apo-Amlodipine) supplied by Apotex is in short supply in all strengths. Amlodipine is a calcium channel blocker used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) and to prevent angina. Amlodipine is used by approximately 142,000 New Zealanders.
The stock shortage of Apo-Amlodipine is only temporary. Apotex is withdrawing from the New Zealand market. PHARMAC has awarded a tender to a new supplier, Rex Medical, so long-term supply of this medicine is secured. Until the new supplier’s stock is available, we have listed two alternative unapproved brands of amlodipine, which must be prescribed in accordance with section 29 of the Medicines Act.
Apotex has advised PHARMAC that Apo-Amlodipine is in short supply in all strengths:
- Tab 2.5 mg – Apotex supply out of stock now.
- Tab 5 mg – Apotex supply out of stock mid-September.
- Tab 10 mg – Apotex supply out of stock mid-late September.
Vasorex is the new funded brand of amlodipine. Rex Medical will start supplying the market over time.
- Vasorex 2.5 mg funded from 1 October 2020
Other strengths will be listed as they become available.
If you are taking Apo-Amlodipine talk to your doctor or specialist about alternative options during the temporary stock shortage. Your doctor will advise whether any of the temporary alternatives we have listed on the Pharmaceutical Schedule are suitable for you.
If you are taking 2.5 mg tablets, you may be transitioned straight to Vasorex, the new funded brand. It is approved by Medsafe.
Whichever brand you take, be assured that it contains the same active ingredients at the same dosage as your current amlodipine.
We apologise if these brand changes cause any inconvenience. We are making these changes to ensure you can continue to access the medicine you need.
On 11 September we listed two temporary alternative brands of amlodipine on the Pharmaceutical Schedule.
- Bristol amlodipine 2.5 mg tablets
- Sandoz amlodipine 5 mg and 10 mg tablets.
From 1 October 2020, the Vasorex 2.5 mg tablets were listed in the Schedule. Vasorex is an approved medicine.
The Bristol and Sandoz brands are unapproved medicines in New Zealand so they must be prescribed in accordance with section 29 of the Medicines Act 1981. We know supplying a medicine under section 29 is not ideal and means that only medical practitioners can prescribe this medicine.
However, section 29 supply is the only option because of the short supply of Apo-Amlodipine tablets. The alternative would be a short period where patients had no access to funded amlodipine so, on balance, funding of an unapproved alternative brand is the best option.
Only medical practitioners can supply section 29 medicines. Familiarise yourself with your obligations under section 29.
Information about Bristol 2.5 mg tablet
- Bristol has the same active ingredient as Apo-Amlodipine.
- Bristol 2.5 mg tablet is the same strength as the Apo-Amlodipine 2.5 mg tablet.
- Bristol is an overseas-registered medicine and has been approved for use in the UK.
- Bristol has slightly different packaging and presentation from Apo-Amlodipine.
- A product leaflet for Bristol from the UK is available
Information about Sandoz 5 mg and 10 mg tablets:
- Sandoz has the same active ingredient as Apo-Amlodipine.
- Sandoz 5 mg and 10 mg tablets are the same strength as the Apo-Amlodipine 5 mg and 10 mg tablets.
- Sandoz is an overseas-registered medicine and has been approved for use in the UK.
- Sandoz has slightly different packaging and presentation from Apo-Amlodipine.
- A product leaflet for Sandoz from the UK is available.
On Friday 11 September, we listed temporary alternative brands of amlodipine on the Pharmaceutical Schedule.
These are unapproved medicines supplied by Link Healthcare. Wastage rules will apply.
- Amlodipine (Bristol brand) 2.5 mg, Pharmacode 2599627
- Amlodipine (Sandoz brand) 5 mg, Pharmacode 2599643
- Amlodipine (Sandoz brand) 10 mg, Pharmacode 2599635
Vasorex is the new funded brand, it will be listed as it becomes available. From 1 October 2020 the 2.5 mg presentation is listed:
- Amlodipine (Vasorex) 2.5 mg, Pharmacode 2592509
If you take amlodipine, talk to your doctor or specialist. PHARMAC cannot give you clinical advice.
If you have questions about funding, contact us by:
Last updated: 28 September 2020