Sertraline: Supply issue resolved

From 1 March 2020, Setrona was the only fully funded brand of sertraline.

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Brand change to Setrona

The funded brand of sertraline changed from Arrow-Sertraline to Setrona. Both Arrow-Sertaline and Setrona are generic brands.

Sertraline is used to treat depression and related anxiety as well as some other mental health conditions.

Your new brand is available from 1 October 2019

  • From 1 October 2019, Setrona was fully funded and available for patients.
  • From 1 March 2020, only Setrona was fully funded. Arrow-Sertraline is no longer be funded.

If you do want to keep using your current brand of sertraline, you can ask your pharmacist to check the price and availability. PHARMAC cannot guarantee the availability or price of Arrow-Sertraline after 1 March 2020.

Setrona works the same as the other brands

  • Setrona works in the same way as Arrow-Sertraline. Setrona has the same active ingredient and is delivered to the body in the same way.
  • Setrona has been thoroughly evaluated by Medsafe to ensure it’s safe and works the same as the other brands.
  • It’s understandable that you might have questions about changing your medicine, but you shouldn’t notice any difference when you change to Setrona. If you have any questions or concerns about changes to medicines, you should talk with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Your new brand comes in tablets

Setrona tablets are white and oblong (like the Arrow-Sertraline tablets), but they are shorter and broader than the Arrow. .

Your brand is changing to help us fund other medicines

A decision to change a medicine, especially one as important as sertraline, isn’t taken lightly.

Our job is to make sure New Zealanders have access to the medicines they need. Making changes to medicines helps us achieve that by freeing up our limited budget to fund other medicines in the community.

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: 

For healthcare professionals

Healthcare professionals play an important role in supporting patients through changes to their medicines. We’d like to support you as you help your patients through the changes to sertraline. 

Key points to tell your patients about Setrona

  • Setrona has the same active ingredient (sertraline) as the other brands. This means the new brand of medication is just as safe and works the same as the old brand. Patients shouldn’t notice any difference in how it affects them.
  • Setrona comes in tablets and will look a little different from Arrow-Sertraline - this will not change how well the medicine works.

We’ve prepared some patient information pamphlets for you to share with people as they change brands.

Setrona tab 50 mg & tab 100 mg: Supply issue resolved

As at 22 October, Douglas advised PHARMAC that new stock of Setrona has arrived. 

About this stock issue

Douglas has advised PHARMAC that they have seen significant demand, coupled with manufacturing delays and logistics issues due to COVID-19.  

There was a temporary supply issue. PHARMAC listed Arrow-Sertraline for funding to cover the brief out of stock. There are no long-term supply issues with Sertraline (Setrona) tab 50 mg & tab 100 mg. 

Who to contact

If you have any questions about this supply issue, contact: