Patients taking funded EPO will need to be using Eprex by 1 March 2015.
After 1 March, patients with prescriptions for NeoRecormon will need to get new prescriptions from their doctors because pharmacists can't generically substitute erythropoietin alfa and erythropoietin beta.
Why does the product I take have to change?
PHARMAC has moved to a sole supply agreement with Janssen Cilag for its brand of EPO.
When will the change happen?
- From 1 September 2014 your specialist or general practitioner will write a prescription for Eprex when you need a repeat.
- From 1 March 2015 only the Eprex brand will remain funded, which means you continue to pay just the co-payment when you pick up your prescription from your pharmacist.
There are two types of erythropoietin available, NeoRecormon (erythropoietin beta) and Eprex (erythropoietin alfa), which both have the same effect on your body. Although you will have to change the type of erythropoietin you use, rest assured it works the same and will give you the same health benefit.
Medsafe has approved erythropoietin alfa’s use and it has been prescribed for and used by many patients who need it in New Zealand for the past 20 years.
What differences are there between the Eprex and NeoRecormon syringe injection?
Here are some of the differences you may notice between NeoRecromon and Eprex:
- The syringe device used to deliver Eprex looks different to the NeoRecormon syringe device.
- The needle on your Eprex syringe is already attached so you don’t have to worry about attaching it to the syringe.
- Once Eprex has been injected, the needle retracts into the needle shield which helps prevent needle stick injury. This action can make a loud click noise.
Eprex syringe comparison with NeoRecormon syringe
Eprex needle shield device
If you have any questions your doctor, pharmacist or specialist nurse will be able to help you.
If you have any concerns or would like to know more about brand changes which PHARMAC makes during the year, please contact 0800 66 00 50 between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm or you can e-mail email@example.com.
Last updated: 1 August 2016