On 1 October 2019 the funded brand of lamotrigine changed from Lamictal, Arrow-Lamotrigine and Logem to Logem only.
Lamotrigine is used to treat epilepsy and some mental health conditions, such as bipolar disorder.
PHARMAC commissioned an independent review of decision making and implementation processes for the lamotrigine sole supply decision.
The review also looked at what we could do to improve future brand changes.
The review found that PHARMAC’s process was evidence based, robust, and of a high standard.
We are always looking to improve our work. This review confirms that we need to focus more on consumers.
We are considering how we can better engage with consumers when planning for and implementing changes in funding arrangements.
Consumer Advisory Committee (CAC)
The review noted that PHARMAC should have involved its Consumer Advisory Committee (CAC) in the decision making and implementation process.
It also noted that it would have been preferable if PHARMAC had sought further input from its Pharmacological and Therapeutics Advisory Committee (PTAC), most likely through PTAC’s Subcommittees, at a time closer to the issuing of the RFP.
The review noted the significant role the media played in reporting on brand changes. PHARMAC is exploring what we can do with the media and on our social media channels to communicate PHARMAC's decision making more clearly.
Exceptional circumstances applications
Total number of patients: 2,476
Applications under assessment: 12
Withdrawn: 6The number of declined applications has increased because dispensing data indicated that these applications were for people who:
- were not previously on another brand of lamotrigine and for who Logem is an appropriate treatment option or
- had not been prescribed lamotrigine for mental health or epilepsy indications.
As at: 28 May 2020
Media releases and OIA responses
Media releases about lamotrigine brand change
- 15 November 2019 – PHARMAC to widen access to the exceptional circumstances process for lamotrigine
- 1 October 2019 – Lamotrigine brand change from today
Responses to Official Information Act requests about lamotrigine
- 24 December 2019 – Number of exceptional circumstances applications (Note: Latest information is on this page)
- 19 December 2019 – Advice around costs of lamotrigine brand change
- 18 December 2019 – Lamotrigine contingency plan activation
- 17 December 2019 – Lamotrigine NPPA change
- 18 November 2019 – Venlafaxine and lamotrigine NPPA data
- 6 November 2019 – Lamotrigine safety
Details of the decision process
- 11 April 2019 – Decision to move to one funded brand of lamotrigine (Logem)
- 7 February 2019 – Advice from the Joint Neurology and Mental Health PTAC subcommittee [PDF, 194 KB]
- 26 October 2018 – Update on proposal to move to one funded brand of lamotrigine (Logem)
- 22 August 2018 – Proposal to move to one funded brand of lamotrigine (Logem)
- 14 June 2018 – Request for proposals (RFP): Supply of lamotrigine chewable/dispersible tablets