Capsaicin (Zostrix and Zostrix HP): Supply issue

Supply issue Active

There is a supply issue affecting both Zostrix and Zostrix HP capsaicin (pharmacodes 472786 and 2022710).

Affected product

We understand there is still some Zostrix (472786) and Zostrix HP (2022710) cream in the market. The supplier had placed it on restricted supply to ensure equitable access to everyone while they worked through getting an alternative brand. They have now released all the stock they had available.

Alternate product

The supplier has secured a supply of an alternate brand, Rugby Capsaicin Topical Cream (both strengths have the same name). These alternates are already listed in the Pharmaceutical Schedule.

Schedule listings for capsaicin(external link) 

Capsaicin cream 0.025% 

  • Replacing Zostrix = Rugby Capsaicin Topical Cream - Pharmacode 2578409 

Capsaicin cream 0.075% 

  • Replacing Zostrix HP = Rugby Capsaicin Topical Cream - Pharmacode 2582252

The alternate products are not Medsafe approved and as such will need to prescribed and dispensed in line with section 29 of the Medicines Act.

Prescribing and supplying a medicine under section 29

Section 29 of the Medicines Act allows for medicines that are not Medsafe approved to be prescribed and supplied to people. The medicine must be prescribed by someone registered with the Medical Council of New Zealand – e.g., doctors. 

We know supplying a medicine under section 29 is not ideal. This is the only alternative available to ensure people can continue to access treatment. 

We apologise for any inconvenience this causes. 

Prescriber and pharmacist requirements for section 29 medicines – Medsafe website(external link)

What patients need to know about section 29 medicines – Health Navigator website(external link)

Who to contact

If you have questions about the funding for this product, email enquiry@pharmac.govt.nz

Please include as much information as you can about the product (presentation, brand, pharmacode) and who your wholesaler is.

About Pharmac's role in supply management