Escitalopram: Ipca-Escitalopram is your new brand

Brand change Active

Between 1 November 2023 and 1 April 2024, your pharmacist will change your brand of escitalopram from Escitalopram (Ethics) to Ipca-Escitalopram.

What's changing?

Your brand of escitalopram is changing from Escitalopram (Ethics) to Ipca-Escitalopram. Your tablet will be a different shape and the packaging will change. 

Ipca-Escitalopram works the same way

Ipca-Escitalopram works the same as the Ethics-Escitalopram brand. 

Ethics-Escitalopram has the same active ingredient as other brands of escitalopram and is delivered in the body in the same way. This means it will have the same effect as other brands.

Medsafe has assessed the Ipca-Escitalopram brand for safety, effectiveness, and quality. It meets the same standards as the Ethics brand. It is approved for use in New Zealand.

Ipca-Escitalopram Datasheet [PDF] - Medsafe(external link)

Ipca-Escitalopram and Ethics-Escitalopram are generic brands.

About generic medicines

Key dates

You might be changed to your new brand any time between 1 November 2023 and 1 April 2024. 

1 November 2023 - Ipca-Escitalopram is funded

1 April 2024 - Escitalopram Ethics no longer funded

Why is this happening?

Pharmac runs an annual tender on many of the medicines we fund. This tender gives suppliers an opportunity to offer already funded products for better, more competitive prices. The savings we make through the tender process frees up money so we can fund new treatments for people.

Following a recent tender, we made the decision to change to the Ipca-Escitalopram brand. 

This brand change is helping us fund more medicines for better health outcomes for all New Zealanders.

About the Annual Tender(external link)

Information for health care professionals

Brand changes for medicines is a crucial time to minimise the potential for the nocebo effect. There are resources available for prescribers and pharmacists when discussing brand changes with your patients.

The nocebo effect: what is it, why is it important and how can it be reduced? - BPACnz(external link)

Who to contact

If you have any questions about this change, talk to your pharmacist or the person who prescribes your escitalopram. They know you and your clinical history, they can offer you the best advice. 

If you have funding questions about this change or other treatments, email enquiry@pharmac.govt.nz