Lamotrigine brand change to Logem

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Brand change for Lamictal and Arrow-Lamotrigine

The funded brand of lamotrigine changed from Lamictal, Arrow-Lamotrigine and Logem to Logem only.

Logem has the same active ingredient as Lamictal and Arrow-Lamotrigine and is delivered to the body in the same way. This means it will have the same effect as the other brands.

  • People had 5 months between 1 May 2019 to 1 October 2019 to change to the Logem brand of lamotrigine.
  • From 1 October 2019:
    • Logem was the only funded brand of lamotrigine
    • lamotrigine can be dispensed all at once, as a 3-month supply. If you want to stay with smaller quantities, then talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Paediatric strengths
    • listings of Lamictal 2 mg and 5 mg dispersible tablets remain the same
    • Arrow-Lamotrigine 5 mg is being discontinued

Information for patients

Logem works the same as other brands

Logem has the same active ingredient as Lamictal and Arrow-Lamotrigine and is delivered to the body in the same way. This means it will have the same effect as the other brands.

Medsafe first approved Logem for sale in New Zealand in 2006. 

We got expert clinical advice from advisors who support people living with epilepsy and mental health conditions. The experts have assured us that changing brands of lamotrigine was appropriate. 

Some people can experience difficulty when changing brands 

If you don’t think the change to Logem brand is working for you, talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

For people who need it, we can continue to fund the same brand of medication. Your prescriber can apply to PHARMAC to fund the Lamictal or Arrow-Lamotrigine brands of lamotrigine. We’ll consider funding these brands for people who:

  • were either on Arrow-Lamotrigine or Lamictal on 1 October 2019, or
  • had changed to Logem from either of these brands between 1 May 2019 and 1 October 2019

AND

  • may have difficulty managing a change of brand to Logem for medical reasons or other concerns, or
  • have tried to change and have not tolerated it.

PHARMAC will also decide how long you can continue to get the other brand of lamotrigine. Your prescriber may need to renew the application for ongoing funding.

Nominated pharmacy

There is no requirement for you to nominate a pharmacy. You can ask any pharmacy to fill your prescription. We recommend you check that the pharmacy has the brand of lamotrigine you want.

Information for prescribers

Thank you for supporting people during this brand change. 

BPACnz has advice to support your practice as you work with patients through this brand change.

> Read The Funded Brand of Lamotrigine is Changing on BPAC's website(external link)

A small number of your patients may not tolerate the brand change for medical reasons or other concerns. Under some circumstances, we may consider funding Lamictal or Arrow-Lamotrigine for individuals with exceptional clinical circumstances.  

Application for funding for alternative brands of lamotrigine

Only a prescriber can apply for funding for the Lamictal or Arrow-Lamotrigine brands of lamotrigine.

We’ll consider funding for people who:

  • were either on Arrow-Lamotrigine or Lamictal on 1 October 2019 or
  • had changed to Logem from either of these brands between 1 May 2019 and 1 October 2019.

AND

  • have not tolerated the change, or
  • have had breakthrough seizures, or
  • have had mood destabilisation, or
  • the prescriber has clinical concerns about the individual’s ability to manage the change (e.g. previous issues with medication changes, severe anxiety around this brand change), or
  • have concerns about their ability to drive.

Renewals

PHARMAC will decide the duration of funding for the requested lamotrigine brand on a case-by-case basis. This may mean that you will need to submit a renewal application for ongoing funding. This would need to indicate why a change to Logem would not be clinically appropriate. All approvals will indicate the duration of funding. 

Application process

Complete an exceptional circumstances application form for funding an alternative brand of lamotrigine. Complete a separate form for each patient.

Submit the application through PHARMAC's portal.

You can call 0800 66 00 50 (option 2) or email NPPA@pharmac.govt.nz if you have any questions about the process.

Information for pharmacists

You process prescriptions for lamotrigine with exceptional circumstances approvals the same way as you would process prescriptions for medicines with a Special Authority approval.

Nominated pharmacy

Any pharmacy can dispense and claim for lamotrigine with an exceptional circumstances approval.

You can dispense it at a dose different to that specified on the approval. You do not need to notify or seek approval from PHARMAC. 

On-going availability of other brands

PHARMAC has no contractual arrangements for supply of other brands of lamotrigine. However:

  • GlaxoSmithKline will continue to make Lamictal brand of lamotrigine available in New Zealand
  • Teva will continue to supply 25 mg, 50 mg and 100 mg strengths of Arrow-Lamotrigine, while there is demand.

Note: We don't have any contractual agreements, as such we can't guarantee:

  • an on-going supply of your specific lamotrigine brand
  • what the price will be for that brand.

Who to contact

If you have any questions: