Nicorandil (Ikorel): Your brand is changing

Brand change Active

By early 2024, your pharmacist will change your brand of nicorandil from Ikorel to Max Health.

What's changing

Your brand of nicorandil tablets is changing from Ikorel to Max Health. You may see some slight changes in the tablets and packaging between the brands. 

Max Health nicorandil works the same way

The Max Health brand of nicorandil tablets contain the same active ingredient in the same quantities as the Ikorel brand. They will work in your body the same way. 

Medsafe has assessed the Max Health brand for safety, effectiveness, and quality. It meets the same standards as the Ikorel brand. It is approved for use in New Zealand.

Max Health Nicorandil Datasheet [PDF] - Medsafe(external link)

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 from Sanofi's Ikorel brand of nicorandil to the Max Health 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 pharmacists

The Max Health brand was listed from 1 December 2023. Thank you for counselling people about this brand change. 

Supply status for each brand

The Ikorel brand likely ran out during December 2023. Max Health have increased their supply of nicorandil to meet demand before principal supply starts (1 May 2024). 

Brand switch fee available

Pharmacists can claim one brand switch fee for each person. The fee can be claimed at the first dispensing of the new brand after principal supply begins (1 May 2024), even though the brand will have changed earlier. 

Resources 

A5 Nicorandil brand change flier [PDF, 45 KB]

A4 Nicorandil brand change flier [PDF, 62 KB]

Medicines can look different, it's what's inside that's important [PDF, 403 KB]

Generic medicines

Who to contact

If you have any questions about this change, talk to your pharmacist or the person who prescribes your nicorandil. 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