Vinorelbine (Navelbine): Supply issue

Supply issue Active

There is a supply issue impacting vinorelbine solution, which is used in hospitals to treat cancer.

Stock status

The Navelbine brand of vinorelbine is out of stock. We have secured an alternative brand. We understand that most DHB hospitals have sufficient stock to cover demand until then.

What is Pharmac doing?

We are working with the Cancer Treatments Subcommittee, medical oncologists, the Cancer Control Agency, and District Health Board (DHB) hospitals to minimise any impact to patients.

We have listed the Sagent brand of vinorelbine from 1 September 2021 to ensure continuity of supply. Sagent brand vinorelbine is not Medsafe-approved. It must be prescribed and supplied in line with section 29 of the Medicines Act.

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. In this case, however, the alternative would be for patients to have no vinorelbine. 

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)

How long will this last?

We expect the Navelbine brand of vinorelbine to be out of stock until April 2022.

This is a global issue

The supplier has advised Pharmac that there is a global supply issue with vinorelbine solution for injection.

For patients

Hospitals are aware of the supply issue and are making any plans necessary to mitigate any impacts. Please talk to your health professional if you have any concerns or questions about your treatments.

More information

We will update this web page as more information is available.