Vinorelbine (Navelbine): Discontinuation and new brand

New Zealand Medical and Scientific is discontinuing vinorelbine (Navelbine) inj 10 mg per ml. An alternative has been sourced.

Affected product

The supplier expects to run out of Navelbine brand vinorelbine by late August.

  • Chemical: Vinorelbine
  • Presentation: Inj 10 mg per ml, 1 ml vial- PCT only- Specialist
  • Brand: Navelbine
  • Pharmacode: 2087111 

Schedule listing for Navelbine(external link)

Alternative product

Pharmac has secured an alternative source of supply through Link Pharmaceuticals. This is vinorelbine (Navelbine S29) inj 10 mg per ml, 5 ml vial. It is not Medsafe approved.

The alternative is from the same source as the previously supplied product. We understand that supplying under Section 29 is less than ideal, however, it is currently the most feasibly available option.

It is listed from 1 September 2023 and available to order from late August 2023.

  • Brand: Navelbine S29
  • Presentation: Inj 10 mg per ml, 5 ml vial – PCT only – Specialist 
  • Subsidy: $168.00 
  • Measure/Quantity: Per 1
  • Pharmacode: 2663260 

Prescribing and supplying an unapproved medicine

Section 29 of the Medicines Act 1981 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, this will allow patients to be able to access an appropriate treatment. 

We apologise for any inconvenience this causes. 

Advice for prescribing under section 29 – BPAC website(external link) 

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

Medsafe’s section 29 Declaration / Notification Form [DOC](external link)

What patients need to know about unapproved medicines – Healthify website(external link)

Who to contact

If you have questions about this issue, email

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

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Medicine notice first published: 18 August 2023