Lamotrigine: Information for consumers
In this section
- What's changed
- Logem works the same way
- Staying on your current brand (applying for exceptional circumstances funding)
- WIll my brand continue to be available?
- Take part in research into what the brand change meant for you
- 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.
If you want to keep using your current brand of lamotrigine:
- Your pharmacist can check the price and availability of the current brand.
- Your prescriber may be able to apply for funding for your current brand.
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.
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 really hard with GPs, pharmacists and patients to make sure everyone is supported through this change.
Your brand is changing to help us fund other 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.
Our job is to make sure New Zealanders have access to the medicines they need. Making changes to medicines helps us achieve that by freeing up our limited budget to fund other medicines in the community.
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.
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.
If you or your prescriber have questions:
- call 0800 66 00 50
- email NPPA@pharmac.govt.nz
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.
PHARMAC will often make decisions that mean people need to change the brand of their medicines.
The University of Auckland is exploring this and want to hear from people to share their experiences of changing lamotrigine brands.
If you're interested in sharing your experiences and taking part in the research
All responses will be confidential. Participation in this research is voluntary.
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 66 00 50.
Last updated: 5 December 2019