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Medicine subsidy

Vildagliptin: a new treatment for type 2 diabetes

Vildagliptin is a dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitor available fully subsidised from 1 October, 2018. DPP-4 inhibitors have... View Article

September 2018

Aripiprazole prescribing changes: Special Authority approval no longer required, new sole-subsidised brand

From 1 June, 2018, aripiprazole can be prescribed without Special Authority approval, making access easier for patients who require... View Article

June 2018

Prescribing gabapentin and pregabalin: upcoming subsidy changes

From 1 May, 2018, pregabalin will be available to prescribe, fully subsidised. From 1 June, 2018, prescribing restrictions will... View Article

March 2018

Methylnaltrexone is a subsidised treatment option for opioid-induced constipation in palliative care

Methylnaltrexone injections are now subsidised for the treatment of opioid-induced constipation for patients in palliative care.... View Article

January 2018

Intravenous ferric carboxymaltose: now available for the treatment of iron deficiency

Intravenous ferric carboxymaltose is now a potential option for treating patients with iron deficiency anaemia in the community.... View Article

November 2017

4% dimethicone lotion: a subsidised treatment for head lice

From 1 May, 2017, 4% dimethicone lotion can be prescribed fully subsidised for the treatment of head lice, which adds another... View Article

May 2017

Access to HPV vaccine widened

The human papillomavirus virus (HPV) vaccine reduces the incidence of HPV-related diseases, including genital warts and cervical... View Article

November 2016

Medicine updates

Two newly funded medicines for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) | Rivastigmine patches (Exelon) now funded for patients... View Article

December 2014

News Updates

Medicines update: removal of Special Authority status | Antianginal medicines: perhexiline maleate (Pexsig), nicorandil (Ikorel)... View Article

October 2014

Gout update: Febuxostat now subsidised on Special Authority

Febuxostat was added to the New Zealand Pharmaceutical Schedule on 1 June, 2014. It is now available as a third-line preventive... View Article

July 2014

Atypical antipsychotics: one fully subsidised brand for quetiapine, risperidone and olanzapine

At present there are multiple brands of some of the fully subsidised antipsychotics on the Pharmaceutical Schedule. View Article

July 2014

Changes to the National Immunisation Schedule: rotavirus vaccine now added

Changes to the National Immunisation Schedule will soon take effect, with the introduction of rotavirus vaccine, free of charge,... View Article

June 2014

Fluoxetine brand change: Arrow-Fluoxetine sole subsidised brand from 1 July

From 1 July 2014, Arrow-Fluoxetine will be the sole subsidised brand of fluoxetine. Fluox will not be subsidised after 1 July... View Article

June 2014

News Updates

Captopril tablets discontinued: ACE inhibitor alternatives | Removal of Special Authority for combination inhaler Seretide |... View Article

February 2014

Risedronate now fully subsidised: What is its place in practice?

Risedronate has been fully subsided in New Zealand without restriction since 1 September, 2013. It is indicated for the treatment... View Article

November 2013

Ticagrelor – out with the old, in with the new?

Ticagrelor (Brilinta) is a new oral antiplatelet medicine, which has been available, fully subsidised, with Special Authority,... View Article

August 2013

Upfront: Unapproved medicines and unapproved uses of medicines: keeping prescribers and patients safe

An approved medicine is a medicine which has been through a regulatory process in New Zealand and can be considered safe to prescribe,... View Article

March 2013

An update on the management of gout

The management of gout involves treatment of an acute attack, lifestyle modification and urate lowering treatment to achieve... View Article

March 2013

News and updates: Update on azithromycin

Update on azithromycin: new prescriber information and availability View Article

November 2012

Funding changes to diabetes management products announced

Key dates for the changes CareSens meters Insulin pumps View Article

September 2012

Schedule changes for asthma inhalers

From 1 February, 2012 schedule changes for some asthma medicines may influence prescribing practices - particularly for patients... View Article

February 2012

News in brief: Varenicline: amendments to Special Authority funding

Brief details on Varenicline use and changes to the special authority funding criteria. View Article

August 2011

News in brief

Changes to nicotine replacement therapy prescriptions | Topical acne treatment adapalene now fully funded | Escitalopram and sertraline... View Article

February 2011

Snippets: Fentanyl patches

Fentanyl patches to be available without Special Authority in 2011 View Article

December 2010

Snippets: Jadelle & Sibutramine

Jadelle – A newly funded long-acting contraceptive implant | Obesity and sibutramine: a risky combination View Article

November 2010

Snippets: Insulin glargine & Ezetimibe

Insulin glargine – access widened from 1 August 2010 | Changes to ezetimibe (Ezetrol) and ezetimibe/simvastatin (Vytorin) pr... View Article

October 2010

Access to clopidogrel now widened

Clopidogrel, an antiplatelet medicine, is now able to be prescribed without Special Authority approval. Clopidogrel is not recommended... View Article

October 2010

Snippets: Iodine supplements Zoledronic acid & Atorvastatin

• Iodine supplements now funded
• Zoledronic acid now funded
• Atorvastatin available without Special Authority
View Article

August 2010

The pharmacological management of Alzheimer’s disease: The place of donepezil

From November 1, 2010 donepezil will be funded without Special Authority, on the Pharmaceutical Schedule. Donepezil and other... View Article

August 2010

Practice snippets

Dextropropoxyphene-containing medicines to be withdrawn | Sibutramine (Reductil) withdrawn from European markets | Mirtazapine... View Article

March 2010

Nicotine replacement therapy prescription changes

Details of changes to the funding/availability of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) from the 1st September 2009. View Article

November 2009

Snippets: Nicotinic acid Fosamax Plus & Genetic testing

Nicotinic acid/laropiprant (Tredaptive) ▪ Fosamax Plus ▪ Direct-to-consumer genetic testing View Article

November 2009

Are whānau paying the right amount for pharmaceuticals and health services?

He tika te utu rongoā, te utu ratonga hauora rānei? Cost can be a major factor in determining whether whānau receive... View Article

July 2009

How does PHARMAC assess if a brand change is appropriate

PHARMAC carefully considers whether brand changes for specific medicines are appropriate, taking into account clinical risks.... View Article

July 2009

Accessing funded medicines in New Zealand

A brief guide for GPs to the methods used to access funded medicines. View Article

June 2009

Removal of isotretinoin prescriber restrictions

From 1 March 2009 PHARMAC will widen access to vocationally registered general practitioners. More in BPJ20. View Article

February 2009

Snippets: Anticonvulsants & Salbutamol

Anticonvulsants and suicide, subsidy changes for salbutamol, Smartinhaler. View Article

June 2008

Brand change update: Ritalin SR now available by special access

In response to concerns raised by Medsafe and the Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring, PHARMAC has agreed to allow patients,... View Article

December 2007

Beta-blocker options following funding changes to Betaloc CR

Prescribing advice following changes to the funding of Betaloc CR View Article

September 2007

Upfront: Changing to a Generic Drug

Visits the main points around changing to a generic drug from varoius viewpoints. View Article

June 2007

Counselling patients through a brand change

Advice on counselling patients through a brand change. View Article

March 2007