Selegiline hydrochloride 5 mg tab: No new patients and discontinuation

Discontinuation Access change Active

Selegiline is being discontinued and is only funded for existing patients from 1 August 2021.

Why are we doing this?

Selegiline 5 mg tablets are currently supplied by Apotex. Apotex is leaving the New Zealand market. We have been looking for new suppliers for all the medicines they currently supply. 

We have been unable to find an alternative supplier for selegiline. 

We are making these changes so current patients can access selegiline for as long as possible.

Key dates 

1 August 2021

  • Funding was restricted to people who were using selegiline before 1 August 2021. 
  • Pharmacists can endorse the script where they have a record of a previous dispensing of selegiline.
  • Alternative product, rasagiline, listed in the Schedule.

1 September 2021: Temporary new brand listing

  • Eldepryl brand of selegiline supplied by Aspen.
  • We have sourced 6 months' supply to allow time for patients to transition off selegiline. 

Early 2022: Selegiline delisted

  • We anticipate that stocks of Eldepryl selegiline will be exhausted before mid-2022. 
  • We will delist both brands of selegiline later in 2022, to allow time for all stock in the supply chain to be used up.  

Get reimbursed for waived GP co-payment fees 

Clinicians will need to move all patients taking selegiline to an alternative treatment. This needs to happen by February 2022. 

We know that moving people from one treatment to another due to a change in funding can be difficult. To support this, we are covering the cost of one GP patient co-payment. This waiver will be in place from 1 August 2021 to 28 February 2022.

To claim reimbursement, the following criteria need to be met for each patient:

  1. The patient has been prescribed selegiline prior to 1 August 2021
  2. The patient is being changed to an alternative funded product.

In all cases: 

  1. The patient must not have been charged for the visit – the GP patient co-payment must have been waived
  2. Only one application per patient can be made
  3. A proforma invoice, including patient details, must be submitted to Pharmac. Multiple claims can be made on one form. 
  4. Email claim forms to enquiry@pharmac.govt.nz
  5. Patient NHI numbers must be provided for audit and verification purposes

Alternative product 

We have received clinical advice that rasagiline may be a suitable alternative for people to be transitioned to. 

Advice for prescribers – He Ako Hiringa(external link)

Rasagiline (Azilect) will be listed on the Schedule from 1 August 2021.

Read our decision to fund rasagiline

Rasagiline is not currently Medsafe-approved. This means it will need to be prescribed and supplied in line with section 29 of the Medicines Act.

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 – eg doctors. 

We know supplying a medicine under section 29 is not ideal. In this case, however, the alternative would be for patients to be unable to access appropriate treatment. The supplier of rasagiline is seeking Medsafe approval.

We apologise for any inconvenience this causes. 

Prescriber and pharmacist requirements for section 29 medicines – Medsafe website

What patients need to know about section 29 medicines – Health Navigator website

Who to contact 

If you are taking selegiline, talk to your pharmacist or the person who prescribed the selegiline. They are in the best place to advise on your clinical circumstances. 

If you have funding questions about selegiline, email enquiry@pharmac.govt.nz

Pharmac's response to Apotex's departure