Most Wanted Medications

By Dr Zoe Raos | Posted: Wednesday February 26, 2020

The Society are working hard to increase access to medications for our patients but we need your help

The Society are working hard to increase access to medications for our patients. We hear from our members about patients with IBD having operations that they might not need, or living with progressive disease that is affecting their quality of life, with the knowledge that standard-of-care medications that would help are just not available in New Zealand.

The Executive have held meetings with PHARMAC, expressing frustration that New Zealanders with significant gastrointestinal problems do not have access to many medications that are available in comparable countries.

PHARMAC advised us to send NPPA forms for patients who could benefit from a medication not on the Schedule. If a certain number of NPPA forms are received for a similar medication or class of medication, even if the NPPA is declined in the first instance, these are taken into account during the approval process.

With this in mind, we would like to make the NPPA process easier to navigate. For anyone who has done a NPPA, it can take hours of literature review and time. As they are often declined, many of us have given up. The indication from PHARMAC is that NPPA applications are worth doing, and a way of making the need more visible.

We need your help.

If you have made a NPPA application for one of these "Most Wanted" medications, please get in touch. The plan is to evolve any existing NPPAs out there into a general template for each drug, so that colleagues around the country can fill in a NPPA, faster. Also, if you are willing to help write a NPPA template for a particular drug from scratch, please get in touch- this is a big job and we will need help.

Here is our list of 'Most Wanted Medications'. Your feedback is appreciated about what is on the list, and if there is anything missing.

  • Ustekinumab
  • Vedolizumab
  • Colifoam
  • Rifaxamin
  • Clarithromycin
  • Levofloxacin
  • Colesevelam/Cholestagel
  • Tacrolimus topically or orally
  • Urso for pruritis (extending range of indications)
  • Taurolidine locks for long-term central line access (to prevent line infections)
  • Oral viscous budesonide (for EE)
  • Micelle E (currently fiddly access)
  • For Hep C there are two needs:
  • 1. Sofosbuvir/velpatasvir combination drug for decompensated hepatitis C (especially genotype 3 as Harvoni is suboptimal)
  • 2. Rescue therapy for HCV treatment failures- could either be Vosevi (sof/vel/vox) or potentially funding to allow sofosbuvir to be added Maviret which has less data and might not be a registered use but is probably effective

The Society  has submitted a detailed update to PHARMAC requesting Ustekinumab approval be expedited. Email if you would like a copy

Contact anna.pears@racp.org.nz