Lamotrigine: Logem is the new funded brand
Lamotrigine is used to treat epilepsy and some mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder.
The funded brand of lamotrigine is changing from Lamictal, Arrow-Lamotrigine and Logem to Logem only.
- From 1 May 2019 to 1 October 2019 people will have 5 months to change to the Logem brand of lamotrigine.
- From 1 October 2019:
- Logem will be the only funded brand of lamotrigine
- lamotrigine will be able to 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.
If you do want to keep using your current brand of lamotrigine, you can ask your pharmacist to check the price and availability. PHARMAC cannot guarantee the availability or price of Lamictal or Arrow-Lamotrigine after 1 October 2019.
What else do you need to know about changing to Logem?
Logem works in the same way as Lamictal and Arrow-Lamotrigine. Logem has the same active ingredient as the other brands 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’ve 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.
Find out more
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 0800 66 00 50.
PHARMAC will often make decisions that mean people need to change the brand of their medicines. We want to make sure that any change goes as smoothly as possible, so we want to learn more about how brand changes impact people taking medicine.
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, click here: Lamotrigine Brand Switch Survey(external link)
All responses will be confidential. Participation in this research is voluntary.
Information for healthcare professionals
We value the work you do supporting patients through brand changes to medicines and making the transition smooth for them.
If you want to learn more about brand changes go to the CME-accredited training module ‘Beyond the Brand’.(external link)
We would especially like to support you as you help patients through this brand change of lamotrigine.
We’ve prepared some material for you to share with people as they change brands.
Here is a patient information leaflet that you can download and print.
Key points to tell your patients about Logem
- Logem has the same active ingredient as the other brands of lamotrigine and is delivered to your body the same way.
- Logem should work the same way for you as your old brand of lamotrigine.
- Logem has been approved by Medsafe, the New Zealand Medicines Authority who decides what medicines are safe to use.
Reimbursement of waived GP co-payment fees
Some people may return to their GP with concerns following the change to the Logem brand and need additional support to make a successful change. In these cases, the GP visit co-payment may be waived and PHARMAC will reimburse the GP clinic on invoice.
To claim reimbursement, the following criteria need to be fulfilled for each patient:
- The patient has received the Logem brand of lamotrigine for the first time, and
- The patient has returned requiring additional support and counselling regarding their medication brand change within 5 months of changing to the Logem brand of lamotrigine.
In all cases:
- The patient GP co-payment must have been waived
- Only one claim per patient can be made
- A proforma invoice and patient detail form must be submitted to PHARMAC. Multiple claims can be made on one form and forms can be submitted on a monthly basis. Claims will be accepted up until 31 December 2019
- Patient NHI numbers must be provided for audit and verification purposes.
We take reports of medicines not working as they should very seriously. If people don’t think their medicines are working, we recommend they talk to their healthcare professional.
We have a process for considering funding in exceptional circumstances for individual patients.
Healthcare professionals can apply for funding for individuals using the form below.
Last updated: 12 July 2019