Alternative brand listed
From November 2022, an alternative brand of pregabalin 25 mg and 75 mg capsules, Milpharm, was funded. From 20 January 2023, the Milpharm brand of pregabalin 150 mg was funded. We funded the Milpharm brand so people could continue taking this medicine.
All three strengths Pregablin Pfizer were resupplied during March 2023.
Milpharm’s brand of pregabalin was not currently Medsafe-approved. This meant it needed to be prescribed and supplied in line with Section 29 of the Medicines Act 1981. While not approved in New Zealand, this brand was approved and used in the United Kingdom.
Schedule listing for Milpharm(external link)
Prescribing and supplying an unapproved medicine
Section 29 of the Medicines Act allows for medicines that are not Medsafe approved to be prescribed and supplied to people. The medicine must be prescribed by someone registered with the Medical Council of New Zealand – such as, a doctor.
We know supplying a medicine under Section 29 is not ideal. In this case, however, It will allow patients to have continued access to appropriate treatment.
We apologise for any inconvenience this might cause.
The temporary brand looked different
Milpharm pregabalin has the same active ingredient and strengths as Pregabalin Pfizer capsules, however, the packaging and capsules will look different.
The Milpharm brand of pregabalin is not currently approved by Medsafe for use in New Zealand. While not approved in New Zealand, this brand is approved and used in the United Kingdom.
We recommend people taking this medicine talk to their prescriber or healthcare professional if they have questions or concerns about this change.
Additional information for pharmacists
There were no changes to the dispensing frequency for pregabalin. Milpharm pregabalin 25 and 150 mg capsules will remain on monthly dispensing, and Milpharm pregabalin 75 mg capsules will remain on stat (all-at-once) dispensing.
Why is this happening
Aspen, the supplier of Pregabalin Pfizer, advised that the out of stock was caused by delays at the manufacturing site and was exacerbated by some freight challenges
We sourced stock of the Milpharm brand of pregabalin to ensure people using this medicine could continue to access funded treatment.
1 November 2022: Link Pharmaceutical’s pregabalin 25 mg and 75 mg capsules listed on the Pharmaceutical Schedule
20 January 2023: Milpharm pregabalin 150 mg capsules listed on the Pharmaceutical Schedule