We are changing the brand for fully funded fentanyl patches, from the Mylan Fentanyl Patch to the Fentanyl Sandoz brand.
Fentanyl patches are indicated for the management of chronic pain only.
Both brands are fully funded through the transition period: between 1 February 2015 and 31 July 2015. From 1 August 2015, only the Fentanyl Sandoz brand of patches will be funded and the Mylan Fentanyl Patch brand will no longer be funded.
If people had been using the Mylan Fentanyl Patch before 1 February 2015, they may not need to change to the Fentanyl Sandoz brand if they do not need to use the patches after 1 August 2015.
What is changing?
The funded brand of fentanyl patches will change from Mylan Fentanyl Patch to Fentanyl Sandoz.
When will the change take effect?
The brand change is occuring over six months, from 1 February 2015 to 1 August 2015.
1 February 2015 - Fentanyl Sandoz brand of fentanyl patches listed fully funded on the Pharmaceutical Schedule.
1 August 2015 - Mylan Fentanyl Patch brand of all strengths of fentanyl patches no longer funded, and delisted from the Pharmaceutical Schedule.
Information for people using fentanyl patches - Practical tips
- Skin should be clean where the patch is applied. Don’t use soaps, creams or lotions to clean the skin – just use clean water. Lotions and creams can stop the patch sticking.
- Skin where the patch is applied should be fully dry.
- Apply patches to non-hairy skin on the torso or upper arms. If there is hair on the patch of skin, trim this rather than shave it off as shaving may affect the skin.
- Do not cut patches to modify the dose.
- Avoid localised heat being applied to the patch, eg hot water bottles.
- Remove the old patch before applying a new patch to a different skin site.
- If a patch falls off before it is time to remove it, dispose of the patch properly and apply a new patch.
- Dispose of used patches safely as they can still contain fentanyl.
- Patches should be pressed to the skin for about 30 seconds when applied.
- Localised rash, erythema and itching can occur with use of fentanyl patches.
- Write the date and time you applied the patch on the applied patch and the pack.
(external link) Medsafe's consumer medicine information for Fentanyl Sandoz patches
Information for health professionals – Supporting patients in the change
- All new patients should be started on the Fentanyl Sandoz brand to avoid the need for these patients to switch brands.
- Patients who have been on the Mylan Fentanyl patch prior to 1 February 2015 who will have completed their treatment by 1 August 2015 will not need to change brands.
- Changing the brand of fentanyl patches should only occur under the guidance of the prescriber or the dispensing pharmacist.
- If patients need to change brands they should be changed to the equivalent dose of the new brand and their clinical response monitored. Most patients will have a similar clinical response and not require a dose adjustment.
- If patient’s pain is not managed on the new patches consider a higher dose of fentanyl patches or adding a “breakthrough” dose of morphine. If the new fentanyl patches are not tolerated due to the dose being too high consider reducing to a lower dose.
More information on fentanyl patches
Last updated: 4 July 2016