Ezetimibe with simvastatin tablets - all strengths
Recently a decision was made to change from the Vytorin brand of the funded ezetimibe with simvastatin tablets to the Zimybe brand, which has the same active ingredients, ezetimibe with simvastatin.
This means that from 1 November 2015, only the Zimybe brand will be funded when prescribed by your doctor.
What is changing?
The funded brand of ezetimibe with simvastatin will change from Vytorin to Zimybe.
When will the change happen?
- From 1 June 2015 the Zimybe brand of ezetimibe with simvastatin will be listed on the Pharmaceutical Schedule.
- From 1 August 2015 a part payment may be required for Vytorin unless you have already changed to the Zimybe brand.
- From 1 November 2015 only Zimybe will be available and fully funded.
Will the tablets or pack look different?
Because they are made by a different supplier, the Zimybe tablets and pack look a little different to your previous medication but they will still have the same active medicine and will work just the same.
Will the medicine work the same?
Your medicine itself is not changing, only the brand. The newly funded tablets contain the same amount of active ingredients-ezetimibe with simvastatin. This means that the effect you experience when taking Zimybe, should be the same as with Vytorin.
Medsafe, the agency that approves medicine for use in New Zealand, approved Zimybe after carefully considering its safety and effectiveness. Medsafe considered Zimybe should have the same effect as Vytorin.
You shouldn’t notice any difference in how you feel after taking Zimybe. If you do notice any major changes or side effects, please talk with your doctor about it.
Will my current brand be available after 1 November 2015?
If you would prefer to continue taking the Vytorin brand after 1 November 2015, all the costs of purchasing it will have to be met by you. It will no longer be the subsidised brand of ezetimibe with simvastatin in New Zealand.
The availability and price of Vytorin after 1 June 2015 will be at the discretion of the pharmaceutical supplier (Merck Sharpe Dohme).
Will the new brand cost me any more?
Other than the usual patient co-payment, there will be no extra cost to you for Zimybe.
Why has this change happened?
Significant savings are associated with the move to the Zimybe brand of ezetimibe with simvastatin tablets. This means that more money can be freed up to fund other medicines to treat other people in our communities. Rest assured, this medication has been approved by Medsafe, New Zealand’s medicines regulator.
Where can I get more information?
Please phone the PHARMAC helpline, 0800 66 00 50 (between 9 am and 4 pm weekdays).
You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org with your queries and/or comments.
Your doctor and pharmacist will also help guide you during the changeover period.
Last updated: 4 July 2016