From 1 February 2014, PHARMAC is changing the funded brand of fluoxetine.
What is changing?
The funded brand of fluoxetine will change from Fluox to Arrow-Fluoxetine
When will the change take effect?
- Arrow-Fluoxetine will be subsidised from 1 February 2014
- From 1 April 2014, a part payment may be required for Fluox. Arrow-Fluoxetine will remain fully subsidised
- From 1 July 2014, only Arrow-Fluoxetine will be available fully subsidised. Fluox will no longer be subsidised.
Fluoxetine hydrochloride: 20 mg capsules and 20 mg dispersible tablets
Change from Fluox to Arrow-Fluoxetine.
You are currently prescribed fluoxetine. The brand of fluoxetine that you have been taking is called Fluox.
Recently a decision was made to change the subsidised brand of fluoxetine. This means that there will be a change from the Fluox brand of fluoxetine to the Arrow-Fluoxetine brand.
The information below may help answer some questions you may have about this change.
Will the medicine work the same?
Your medicine itself is not changing, only the brand. The newly funded capsules and tablets contain the same amount of the active ingredients – fluoxetine hydrochloride. This means that you should have the same effect from taking Arrow-Fluoxetine as you currently have taking Fluox.
The original brand name for fluoxetine was Prozac. Medsafe, the agency that approves medicine for use in New Zealand, approved both Fluox and Arrow-Fluoxetine after carefully considering their safety and effectiveness. Medsafe considered Fluox and Arrow-Fluoxetine should have the same effect as Prozac.
You shouldn’t notice any difference in how you feel after taking Arrow-Fluoxetine. If you do notice any major changes or side effects, please talk with your doctor about it.
When will the change occur?
From 1 April 2014 a part payment may be required for Fluox. Arrow-Fluoxetine will remain fully subsidised.
From 1 July 2014, only Arrow-Fluoxetine will be available fully subsidised. Fluox will no longer be subsidised.
Will my current brand be available after 1 June 2014?
If you do want to continue using the Fluox brand of fluoxetine you can ask your pharmacist to check the price and availability. However, after 1 July 2014, all costs of purchasing the Fluox brand of fluoxetine would have to be met by you because it will no longer be subsidised.
Will the new brand cost me any more?
Other than the usual patient co-payment, there will be no extra cost for you for Arrow-Fluoxetine.
Will the tablets or pack look different?
Because Arrow-Fluoxetine is made by a different supplier, the capsules and tablets look a little different to the Fluox capsules and tablets, 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, 0800 66 00 50 (between 9 am and 4 pm weekdays). You can also e-mail email@example.com with your queries and/or comments.
Your doctor, nurse and pharmacist will also help guide you during the changeover period.
Last updated: 4 July 2016