Lamotrigine: Information for consumers
In this section
- What changed?
- Logem works the same way
- Staying on your current brand (applying for exceptional circumstances funding)
- Nominated pharmacy
- Will my brand continue to be available?
- Who to contact
The funded brand of lamotrigine changed from Lamictal, Arrow-Lamotrigine and Logem to Logem only.
- People had 5 months between 1 May 2019 to 1 October 2019 to change to the Logem brand of lamotrigine.
- From 1 October 2019:
- Logem was the only funded brand of lamotrigine
- lamotrigine can be dispensed all at once, as a 3-month supply. If you want to stay with smaller quantities, then talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
- Paediatric strengths did not change:
- There are no changes to the listings of lamotrigine 2 mg (Lamictal) and 5 mg (Lamictal and Arrow-Lamotrigine) dispersible tablets.
Logem has the same active ingredient as Lamictal and Arrow-Lamotrigine and is delivered to the body in the same way. This means it will have the same effect as the other brands.
Medsafe first approved Logem for sale in New Zealand in 2006.
- Read the datasheet about Logem – Medsafe's website(external link)
- Read more about Medsafe's approval process – Medsafe's website(external link)
We got expert clinical advice from advisors who manage people living with epilepsy and mental health conditions to make sure it’s appropriate for people to change brands of lamotrigine. Our expert clinical advisors have assured us that changing brands of lamotrigine is appropriate.
We're working with GPs, pharmacists and patients to make sure everyone is supported through this change.
Improving access to medicines
A decision to change a medicine, especially one as important as lamotrigine, isn’t taken lightly. We received expert advice about the appropriateness of making this change.
By making this change, we can fund new medicines. Our job is to make sure New Zealanders have access to the medicines they need.
Some people may have difficulty changing brands due to medical reasons or other concerns. For people who need it, we can continue to fund the same brand of medication. Your prescriber needs to apply to our exceptional circumstances process.
If you don’t think the change to Logem brand is working for you, talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist. PHARMAC reimbursed GPs for one visit per patient regarding the lamotrigine brand change before 1 February 2020. This meant that patients could have a free visit to discuss any concerns.
Application for funding for alternative brands of lamotrigine
Your prescriber can apply to PHARMAC to fund the Lamictal or Arrow-Lamotrigine brands of lamotrigine. We’ll consider funding these brands for people who:
- have been on lamotrigine prior to 1 October, and
- may have difficulty managing a change of brand to Logem for medical reasons or other concerns, or
- have tried to change and have not tolerated it.
PHARMAC will also decide how long you can continue to get the other brand of lamotrigine. Your prescriber may need to renew the application for ongoing funding. They will need to explain why a change to Logem would not be clinically appropriate.
- Your prescriber will complete the application form on your behalf and submit it through PHARMAC's website.
- Your prescriber will get a confirmation email to say we received the application.
- We will contact your prescriber with the outcome as soon as possible. They will let you know.
During the COVID-19 response we have removed the requirement for you to use your nominated pharmacy.
Will my brand continue to be available?
PHARMAC has no contractual arrangements for supply of other brands of lamotrigine. However:
- GlaxoSmithKline advises that they will continue to make Lamictal brand of lamotrigine available in New Zealand
- Teva will continue to supply all strengths of Arrow-Lamotrigine in New Zealand if there is on-going market demand.
Please note: We don't have have any contractual agreements, as such we can't guarantee:
- an on-going supply of your specific lamotrigine brand
- what the price will be for that brand.
If you have any questions or concerns about changing your brand of lamotrigine, talk with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
You can also get more information from us at email@example.com or 0800 660 050.
Last updated: 3 April 2020