Pharmac News

Pharmac is pleased to let you know that the 2,600+ people currently accessing Lamictal or Arrow-Lamotrigine under the bespoke exceptional circumstances process can remain on their original funded brand.

This process was set up in 2019 following the funded brand change to Logem. They are confident that in that time approvals have been granted for people who were taking lamotrigine at the time of the brand change and needed to stay on their existing brand.

They are therefore closing this process on 1 September 2022 and all current exceptional circumstances approvals will be extended indefinitely.

Pharmac want to make sure that people taking lamotrigine, their whānau, and their healthcare professionals know what’s happening with the brands.

More information is available on:


Lamictal packaging update

Update on Lamictal packaging : please see brand information and video from global GSK team

Lamictal brand of lamotrigine dispersible tablets 25mg, 50mg and 100mg formulations are undergoing package change from a simple blister pack to child-resistant blister packaging.

Lamictal Blister Leave Behind Information Sheet


submissions to pharmac

Epilepsy New Zealand works to ensure New Zealanders living with epilepsy have access to medications necessary for them to live their best lives.  This involves engaging with PHARMAC on a regular basis.


medication update : phenobarbitone 15gm tablet brand change

API, the supplier of the ‘PSM’ brand of phenobarbitone tablets, has closed its New Zealand manufacturing plant. This means people using phenobarbitone 15 mg tablets will need to change brands from PSM Phenobarbitone to Noumed Phenobarbitone between 1 March and May 2024.
What this means for people using phenobarbitone 15 mg tablets:
It is recommended that people who take phenobarbitone tablets for epilepsy should be monitored carefully when they change brands, including:
· visit their prescriber twice (one month before and one month after the change)
· and have four blood tests to monitor the change.
To avoid people who take phenobarbitone 15 mg tablets for epilepsy incurring additional costs, Pharmac will fund the cost of two visits to a primary care prescriber per person, and the four recommended blood tests where someone cannot access a collection centre where this test is funded.
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