Flecainide: Brand change completed

Flecainide is a medicine used to maintain a regular heartbeat and prevent an irregular heartbeat from returning.

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What changed?

The funded brands of flecainide changed from Tambocor CR and Tambocor to Flecainide Controlled Release Teva and Flecainide BNM.

When did the change happen?

The brand of flecainide long-acting capsules 100 mg and 200 mg changed from Tambocor CR to Flecainide Controlled Release Teva.

  • From 1 July 2019, Flecainide Controlled Release Teva was fully funded.
  • From 1 December 2019, Tambocor CR was no longer funded.

The brand of flecainide short-acting tablet 50 mg changed from Tambocor to Flecainide BNM.

  • From 1 September 2019, Flecainide BNM was fully funded.
  • From 1 February 2020, Tambocor was no longer funded.

If you do want to keep using your current brand of flecainide, you can ask your pharmacist to check the price and availability. PHARMAC cannot guarantee the availability or price of Tambocor after they stop being funded.

Your new brand of flecainide will work the same

  • Your new brand of flecainide will work in the same way as Tambocor. The new brands have the same active ingredient as the Tambocor brand and are delivered to the body in the same way. This means they will have the same effect as other brands.
  • Flecainide BNM and Flecainide Controlled Release Teva have both been fully evaluated by Medsafe to ensure they are safe and work the same as Tambocor.
  • It’s understandable that you might have questions about changing your medicine but you shouldn’t notice any difference when you change to Flecainide BNM or Flecainide Controlled Release Teva. If you have any questions or concerns about changes to medicines, you should talk with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

There’s more information about medicines and changes to medicines on PHARMAC’s website.

The BNM tablet is the same size and shape as the tambocor. It has FI stamped on it. the Teva 100 mg & 200 mg capsules are a similar colour as the Tambocor, but don't have the writing on them..

Find out more

If you have any questions or concerns about changing brands, talk with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist. You can also get more information from us at enquiry@pharmac.govt.nz or 0800 66 00 50.

For healthcare professionals

Brand changes are common and healthcare professionals play an important role in supporting patients through changes to their medicines.

We've prepared some material for you to share with people as they change their brand of flecainide.

Here is a patient information leaflet that you can download and print.

Key points to tell your patients about the change in brands of oral flecainide

  • Flecainide Controlled Release Teva and Flecainide BNM both have the same active ingredient as Tambocor CR and Tambocor. This means the new brand of medication is just as safe and works the same as the old brand. They shouldn’t notice any difference in how it affects them.

Reimbursement of waived GP co-payment fees for plasma monitoring

We were advised by our Cardiovascular Subcommittee of PTAC that there is no reason to recommend routine checks of flecainide therapeutic levels during a brand change to flecainide but could be done if a patient was not receiving optimal treatment. Plasma monitoring during the brand change was at the discretion of the clinician, depending on the patient’s circumstances.

If a patient required plasma monitoring during the brand change that resulted in an additional consultation, a GP visit co-payment could be waived until 31 March 2020. 

Brand switch fee

A brand switch fee will be in place to ensure pharmacists are reimbursed for any additional patient counselling required to transition patients successfully.