Decision to secure supply of diclofenac sodium long-acting 75 mg tablets

Medicines Decision

We have secured ongoing supply of diclofenac sodium long-acting 75 mg tablets.

What we’re doing

We're pleased to announce that we have secured ongoing supply of diclofenac sodium long-acting 75 mg tablets.

This decision means that:

  • New Zealanders will continue to be able to access a funded brand of diclofenac sodium long-acting 75 mg tablets.
  • both the Apo-Diclo SR (supplied by Apotex) to Voltaren SR (supplied by Novartis) brands of diclofenac sodium long-acting 75 mg tablets will be funded from 1 September 2021 until 1 May 2022.
  • from 1 May 2022, Voltaren SR will be the only funded brand of diclofenac sodium long-acting 75 mg tablets.

Background

Apotex, a pharmaceutical supplier, has made the decision to consolidate its international presence and leave the New Zealand market from late 2021. Apotex currently supplies a number of pharmaceuticals in New Zealand. We’ve been working to secure alternative brands of these medicines to ensure continuity of supply for people taking the medicines.

You can find more information about Apotex leaving New Zealand on our website.

One of the medicines Apotex currently supplies to New Zealand is diclofenac sodium long-acting tablets.

Apotex also supplies a 100 mg strength of diclofenac sodium long-acting tablets. We have been unable to source another brand of this strength of diclofenac sodium. This strength will be delisted from the Pharmaceutical Schedule on 1 May 2022. Patients currently using diclofenac sodium long-acting 100 mg tablets will need to transition to an alternative strength or different medicine. 

Who we think will be most interested

  • People using this medicine and their family, whānau or caregivers.
  • Hospital and community pharmacists, DHBs and wholesalers.
  • Clinicians and other prescribers of these medicines.
  • Suppliers of medicines to the New Zealand market.

Details about this decision

From 1 September 2021, Novartis’ brand of diclofenac sodium tab long-acting 75 mg tablets (Voltaren SR) will be listed in Section B and Part II of Section H of the Pharmaceutical Schedule as follows:

Chemical

Presentation

Brand

Pack size

Price &
Subsidy

Diclofenac sodium

Tab long-acting 75 mg

Voltaren SR

100

$19.60

A confidential rebate will apply to Voltaren SR that will reduce the net price to the Funder.

Voltaren SR will have protection from delisting and subsidy reduction until 1 September 2023.

Stock of the currently funded Apo-Diclo SR brand of diclofenac sodium long-acting 75 mg tablets is expected to be available until at least October 2021. Apo-Diclo SR will be delisted on 1 May 2022.

From 1 May 2022, Voltaren SR will be the only funded brand of diclofenac sodium long-acting 75 mg tablets in both community and hospital settings.

Novartis’ Voltaren SR brand of diclofenac sodium long-acting 75 mg tablets is approved by Medsafe and has previously been funded by Pharmac.

If you have any questions about this decision, you can email us at enquiry@pharmac.govt.nz; or call our toll-free number (9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday) on 0800 66 00 50.