From 1 April 2015, some brands of cardiovascular medicines will change.
What is changing?
Recently a decision was made to change the subsidised brands of three cardiovascular medications. This means that there will be changes for you if you are taking any of the following brands of medications.
|Medicine||Funded brand before the change||Funded brand after the change|
|ezetimibe with simvastatin tablets||Vytorin||Zimybe|
When will the changes occur?
Dilatrend to Dicarz tablets
From 1 April 2015 - Dicarz tablets will be listed on the Pharmaceutical schedule.
From 1 June 2015 - You will need to pay a part payment for a prescription for Dilatrend, unless you have already changed to the Dicarz brand. To avoid this part payment, your pharmacist will need to dispense you the Mylan brand, Dicarz.
From 1 September 2015 - The Dicarz brand will be the only fully funded brand, available. The Dilatrend brand may or may not be available after this date (at the discretion of the supplier, Roche) and will not be funded.
Ezetrol to Ezemibe tablets
From 1 June 2015 - Ezemibe will be listed on the Pharmaceutical Schedule.
From 1 August 2015 - you will need to pay a part payment for a prescription for Ezetrol, unless you have already changed to the Ezemibe brand. To avoid this part payment, your pharmacist will need to dispense you the Mylan brand, Ezemibe.
From 1 November 2015 - only the fully funded brand, Ezemibe, will be available. The Ezetrol brand may or may not be available (at the discretion of the supplier, Merck, Sharpe and Dohme) and will no longer be funded.
Vytorin to Zimybe tablets
From 1 June 2015 - Zimybe will be listed in the Pharmaceutical Schedule.
From 1 August 2015 - you will need to pay a part payment for a prescription for Vytorin, unless you have already changed to the Zimybe brand. To avoid this part payment, your pharmacist will need to dispense you the Mylan brand, Zimybe.
From 1 November 2015 - only the fully-funded brand, Zimybe, will be available. The Vytorin brand may or may not be available (at the discretion of the supplier, Merck Sharpe and Dohme) and will no longer be funded.
The information below may help answer some questions you may have about these changes.
Will each of the new brands of the cardiovascular medications work the same?
Your medicine itself is not changing, only the brand. The newly funded tablets contain the same amounts of the active ingredients as the previous brand of tablets you were taking and they should have the same effect.
Medsafe, the agency that approves medicines for use in New Zealand, has approved all three cardiovascular brands listed above, after carefully considering their safety and effectiveness.
You shouldn’t notice any difference in how you feel after taking the new brand of tablet. If you do notice any major changes or side effects, please talk with your doctor about it.
Will the new brand cost me anymore?
Other than the usual patient co-payment, there will be no extra cost for you.
Will the tablets or pack look different?
Because they are made by a different supplier, the tablets and pack will look a little different to your previous medication, but they will still have the same active medicine and will work just the same.
Where can I get more information?
If you would like more information about the change, please contact the PHARMAC helpline on FREE phone 0800 66 00 50 (between 9 am and 4 pm weekdays).
You can also e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your queries and/or comments.
Your doctor, nurse and pharmacist will also help guide you during the changeover period.
Last updated: 14 February 2018