Chlorhexidine: Discontinuation

Jaychem advised the market of the discontinuation of a number of products in their HealthE chlorhexidine range in 2019. 

PHARMAC's response

DHBs have alerted us to a demand for chlorhexidine surgical preparation solutions and alternatives. This demand hadn't been represented in reporting to PHARMAC. Since then we've worked with a range of suppliers, as well as DHBs, to understand potential supply options and DHB demand.

DHBs will need to negotiate with suppliers

DHBs should negotiate directly with suppliers or wholesalers on commercial terms. PHARMAC will not be securing national agreements for the supply of surgical preparation solutions in the short term.  

HML listings widened

PHARMAC will be widening the listings for chlorhexidine products in Part II of Section H of the Pharmaceutical Schedule to list as broad a range of presentations as possible. The expansion of listings will ensure that DHB procurement of these products is consistent with the Schedule.

Alternative products 

If DHBs are interested in accessing any of the products listed below long term, email  

Perrigo Australia 

Perrigo Australia has limited stock of chlorhexidine 0.5% red 30 mL solution in New Zealand. Additional stock is on its way and these deliveries should help avoid any imminent out of stock. The supply situation remains tight and this will continue in the short term.

Perrigo advises that orders will be filled on allocation.

Perrigo’s product is not currently approved by Medsafe. DHBs will need to continue whatever arrangements they have had in place to ensure quality and safety.


Schulke have a small quantity of Medsafe-approved, concentrate chlorhexidine product available. This product needs to be diluted with water and 96% ethanol so is only suitable for DHBs with the facilities to do this.

Contact Schulke if you are interested in this product.

Schulke also have a ready-to-use product (Microsheild Tincture) that has previously had Medsafe approval, but at this stage there is no stock available in New Zealand. 

If there is sufficient interest in this product, PHARMAC staff can engage with Medsafe and Schulke to work toward making it available.

3M products

3M have limited ability to meet additional demand for their Avaguard product range. 

New Zealand Medical and Scientific (NZMS) supply 3M brand impregnated surgical preparation sponges. NZMS have limited ability to meet significant additional demand in  the short term.

It may be possible to make additional volume of this product available in a relatively short time, if there is sufficient demand.


Pfizer is urgently seeking additional stock of their povidone iodine product. Pfizer currently have limited ability to meet demand from DHBs that do not regularly purchase it. They will have additional stock in the coming weeks.

Other suppliers 

PHARMAC continues to follow up include Baxter and Global Medics.

If DHBs are aware of other suppliers or alternative products that should be listed in Part II of Section H of the Pharmaceutical Schedule, contact

Jaychem stock status

As at 6 July 2020,  minimal stock remains of the following products:

  • Triclosan 1% Liquid Soap 500ml, bottle
  • Chlorhexidine 2% in Alcohol 70% (red) 100ml, bottle
  • Iodine 1% in Alcohol 70% 100ml, glass bottle
  • Vitamin A 50g, tube

As at 6 July 2020, the stocks of the following products are exhausted:

  • Chlorhexidine 1% Hand Rub w/ Ethanol 70% (pink) 500ml, pump bottle
  • Chlorhexidine 4% Pre-Op Foaming Wash (pink) 50ml, tube
  • Chlorhexidine 4% Aqueous Solution (red) 500ml, pump bottle
  • Obstetric Cream 1% 50g, tube
  • Obstetric Lotion 1% 200ml, bottle
  • Chlorhexidine 0.2% Mouthwash (Alcohol Free) 200ml, bottle
  • Chlorhexidine 0.5% in Alcohol 70% (pink) 100ml, bottle
  • Chlorhexidine 0.5% in Alcohol 70% (pink) 500ml, bottle
  • Chlorhexidine 0.5% in Alcohol 70% (red) 100ml, bottle
  • Chlorhexidine 0.5% in Alcohol 70% (red) 500ml, bottle
  • Chlorhexidine 2% in Alcohol 70% (pink) 100ml, bottle
  • Chlorhexidine 2% in Alcohol 70% (red) 500ml, bottle
  • Isopropyl Alcohol 70% (non-sterile) 500ml, bottle

Who to contact

If you have questions about on-going chlorhexidine products, email