OIA response: Anti-rejection medications for transplant patients

Request for information and statistics on anti-rejection drugs.

27 February 2020

[Name and contact details withheld]

REQUEST FOR INFORMATION

Thank you for your email of 3 January 2020, asking for resources, information or statistics for the following:

  • How anti-rejection medications for transplant patients are being utilised or claimed by these patients
  • Whether medications are allocated to this patient group but not claimed
  • Information about patients returning to dialysis because of non-compliance with their medication.

On 17 January 2020, you clarified your request as being particular to renal transplant patients, specifically these patients prescribed tacrolimus (Tacrolimus Sandoz) 1mg and mycophenolate mofetil (Cellcept) 500mg.  You also extended your information request to include the volume of medicines prescribed, and the number of prescriptions or total costs of these medicines.

Your request has been considered under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA).  We have interpreted your request as relating to the dispensing of tacrolimus and mycophenolate mofetil.

The information you have requested is supplied in the following tables.  Please note the information in Table 1 is for any organ transplant patient - it is not specific to renal patients as PHARMAC data is unable to be refined to this level of detail.  The information in Table 2 is for the dispensing of mycophenolate mofetil for any indication. 

Table 1: Tacrolimus patients with special authority indication of ‘organ transplant’ (for year ending 30 June 2019)

Chemical Name

Formulation Name

Number of Patients

Units dispensed (caps)

Scripts

Gross Drug Cost

Tacrolimus

Cap 1 mg

1,829

954,968

7,649

$ 2,753,841

Table 2: Mycophenolate mofetil dispensing for any indication (for year ending 30 June 2019)

Chemical Name

Formulation Name

Number of Patients

Units Dispensed (tabs)

Scripts

Gross Drug Cost

Mycophenolate mofetil

Tab 500 mg

3,421

2,894,160

12,114

$ 1,447,082

PHARMAC does not hold the other information you have requested, relating to data specific to renal patients as indicated above, medications prescribed but not claimed and information about patients returning to dialysis because of non-compliance with their medication.  In this respect, these parts of your request are refused under section 18(g) of the OIA, as the information is not held by PHARMAC, and we have no reason to believe it is held by another agency.

You have the right, by way of complaint under section 28(3) of the OIA to an Ombudsman, to seek an investigation and review of our decision.

Please note that PHARMAC approaches its assessment of requests for information under the OIA on the basis that, once released, the information becomes publicly available - in other words, once we release the information to you it becomes available to any other party in that exact form (whether by you distributing it to others or by virtue of us receiving the same request from a different third party). 

We are making our information more freely available, so we will now publish selected OIA responses (excluding personal details) on our website.  Please get in touch with us if you have any questions about this.

 

Yours sincerely

Rachel Read
Manager, Policy