Mirtazapine 30 mg and 45 mg tablets
Change in funded brand of mirtazapine from Avanza to Apo-Mirtazapine
A decision has been made by PHARMAC to change the subsidised (funded) brand of mirtazapine from Avanza (supplied by Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD) NZ) to a new brand, supplied by Apotex NZ Ltd (‘Apotex’). Apotex’s brand of mirtazapine is called Apo-Mirtazapine, and the change will start to happen from 1 September 2015.
The information below may help to 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 tablets contain the same amount of the active ingredients - mirtazapine. This means that the effect you experience when taking Apo-Mirtazapine should be the same as the brand you are currently taking.
You shouldn’t notice any difference in how you feel after taking Apo-Mirtazapine. If you do notice any major changes or side effects, please talk with your doctor about it.
When will the change occur?
From 1 September 2015, Apo-Mirtazapine will be listed on the Pharmaceutical Schedule, meaning it will become funded.
From 1 November 2015 a part payment may be required for the Avanza brand. To avoid this part payment, your pharmacist will need to dispense you the Apo-Mirtazapine brand of mirtazapine.
From 1 February 2016 only Apo-Mirtazapine will be funded when you pick up your prescription from a community pharmacist.
Doctors and pharmacists have been kept informed about these changes and are the best people to discuss these changes with.
Will there be any additional costs for me to pay after 1 February 2016?
Other than the usual patient co-payment, there will be no extra cost for you to pay.
Will the tablets or pack look different?
Because they are made by a different supplier, the Apo-Mirtazapine brand of mirtazapine tablets and pack look a little different to your previous medication, but they will still have the same active medicine and should work just the same.
|Apo-Mirtazapine 30 mg|
|Apo-Mirtazapine 45 mg|
Why has this change happened?
Significant savings are associated with the move to the Apo-Mirtazapine brand of mirtazapine tablets. This means that more money can be freed up to fund more medicines to treat other people in our communities. As part of this change, funded access to mirtazapine will be widened from 1 November 2015 to allow access to mirtazapine as a first-line treatment option which will mean that more patients will have access to this treatment.
Rest assured, Apo-Mirtazapine has been approved by Medsafe, New Zealand’s medicines regulator.
Where can I get more information?
If you have any concerns about the changes please contact PHARMAC Enquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone the helpdesk on FREE phone 0800 660 050 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.
Your health professional will also help guide you during the changeover period.
Last updated: 26 October 2017