Aflibercept is a newer-generation anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) treatment which helps to preserve and improve vision for people with:
- neovascular wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD) and
- diabetic macular oedema (DMO).
What is changing?
- From 1 June 2018, aflibercept will be funded for use in the community and in hospital for people who meet the funding criteria.
- This means people who meet the funding criteria for aflibercept will be able to receive treatment from DHB ophthalmology services or their private ophthalmologist.
Important storage information
Aflibercept is temperature sensitive and needs to be stored between 2° and 8°C.
If you have questions about how to safely store aflibercept, talk to your pharmacist or contact the supplier Bayer New Zealand Ltd at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0800 847 847.
Information for clinicians
How do I access funded aflibercept for my patients?
Your patient will need to meet the funding criteria to access funded aflibercept.
- If you’re accessing aflibercept through the community you’ll need to apply for a Special Authority for your patient.
- You can apply for a Special Authority manually or electronically.
- Special Authorities are managed by the Ministry of Health.
For more information on how to apply for a Special Authority, contact the Ministry of Health on 0800 243 666.
Where do I get stock of aflibercept?
Pharmacies will be able to dispense funded aflibercept on presentation of a prescription with a valid Special Authority approval number.
Your patient can collect aflibercept from the pharmacy and bring it with them to the clinic, or you can arrange for it to be collected on behalf of a patient.
Note that aflibercept must be stored in the fridge between 2º and 8ºC, and must not be frozen. Aflibercept can be stored at or below 25 ºC for up to 24 hours.
How much will it cost my patient to pick-up aflibercept from the pharmacy?
If your patient has a Special Authority for aflibercept they will need to pay the usual co-payment to collect funded aflibercept.
The usual co-payment may be up to $15 if the patient is accessing the service privately.
For more information on pharmaceutical co-payments see the Ministry of Health website(external link).
My patient has been self-funding aflibercept, or receiving compassionate supply. Will they able to access funded aflibercept?
- If your patient has tried bevacizumab then moved on to aflibercept they will be funded under criteria 2.4 of the Special Authority. You need to be aware that this criterion will be removed from the Special Authority in 1 January 2019.
- If your patient self-funded aflibercept as a first-line treatment and hasn’t tried bevacizumab they wouldn’t be eligible for funded access to second-line aflibercept.
My patient is currently receiving ranibizumab. Are they eligible for funded aflibercept?
Yes. If your patient is currently receiving ranibizumab, they will be eligible for funded aflibercept under criteria 2.3 of the Special Authority. You need to be aware that this criterion will be removed from the Special Authority in 1 January 2019.
Who can write prescriptions for aflibercept?
Only an ophthalmologist can apply for a Special Authority for aflibercept.
Once a patient has an approved Special Authority, any authorised prescriber – including nurse practitioners with ophthalmology as a scope of practice – can prescribe aflibercept for them.
My patient meets the Special Authority criteria for aflibercept in one eye - am I able to use aflibercept in the patient’s other eye?
Yes, once a patient meets the Special Authority criteria they are eligible for funded aflibercept. There are no funding restrictions on which eye the aflibercept is to be used or the treatment frequency.
Information for pharmacies
Aflibercept is temperature sensitive:
- Must be stored between 2° and 8°C.
- Must not be frozen.
- Can be stored at or below 25ºC for up to 24 hours.
People will need information on how to safely store aflibercept.
Last updated: 25 March 2019