Somatropin (Omnitrope) injections: Supply issue

Supply issue Active

Sandoz has advised that there is a supply issue with somatropin (Omnitrope) injections.

Reason for the supply issue

Sandoz has had difficulty sourcing labelling and packaging materials. Sandoz sent a letter to health care providers to alert them to the issue in November 2022.

Affected product

All presentations of somatropin (Omnitrope) are affected by this supply issue.

  • Inj 5 mg cartridge (Pharmacode 2461536)
  • Inj 10 mg cartridge (Pharmacode 2461528)
  • Inj 15 mg cartridge (Pharmacode 2461501)

Schedule listing for somatropin (Omnitrope)(external link)

Alternative product

Alternative Australian products will be funded from 21 November 2022 with the same Special Authority restrictions. The products are made by the same manufacturer. They are the same formulations and same cartridges as the New Zealand pack.

The alternative is not Medsafe approved. This means it needs to be prescribed and dispensed in line with section 29 of the Medicines Act.

This product is approved for use in Australia. The only differences are on the label and leaflet. The Australian label and leaflet have fewer indications on them.

In New Zealand, somatropin is approved to treat more people and conditions. Even if your condition isn’t listed on the label, you are still getting the same medicine.

Australian Consumer Medicine Information(external link)

Sandoz and Pharmac worked together to ensure people could continue to access this important medicine.

Prescribing and supplying a medicine under section 29

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 – e.g., doctors. 

We know supplying a medicine under section 29 is not ideal. This is the only alternative available to ensure people can continue to access treatment. 

We apologise for any inconvenience this causes. 

Prescriber and pharmacist requirements for section 29 medicines – Medsafe website(external link)

What patients need to know about section 29 medicines – Health Navigator website(external link)

Key dates

Mid-November 2022: Omnitrope solution for injection 10 mg cartridge out of stock

21 November 2022: Australian packs of somatropin (Omnitrope) inj listed and funded

Mid-December 2022: Omnitrope solution for injection 5 mg cartridge and 15 mg cartridge go out of stock

Late January 2023: Sandoz indicates all presentations of the New Zealand registered product will be available again

For pharmacists

This listing will not appear in the Online Schedule until it is updated for 1 December 2022.

  • RxOne users: the changes will be automatically updated by RxOne from the effective date. 
  • TONIQ users: the changes will automatically be updated in Toniq medicine databases from the effective date. 

The Sector Operations Group will not be able to process claims for November dispensing of the above listings. Pharmacies can either:

  • hold these claims until December OR
  • reclaim them in December when they are rejected for payment in November claims.

Who to contact

If you have questions about the funding for this product, email enquiry@pharmac.govt.nz

Please include as much information as you can about the product (presentation, brand, pharmacode) and who your wholesaler is.

About Pharmac's role in supply management