Decision relating to anti-VEGF treatments for ophthalmic use

Medicines Decision

The PHARMAC Board has resolved to not accept any proposal and to terminate the RPF process in relation to anti-VEGF treatments for ophthalmic use.

On 5 September 2016, PHARMAC consulted on a proposal to list ranibizumab (Lucentis) and aflibercept (Eylea) in Section H of the Pharmaceutical Schedule from 1 November 2016 for the second and third line treatment (respectively) of wet age-related macular degeneration (wAMD).  This proposal arose following a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the supply of anti-endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) agents issued on 5 May 2016.

Consultation feedback included a strong preference from some clinicians for aflibercept to be the second line treatment listed for wAMD, rather than ranibizumab as proposed.  Some responders included evidence to support their views that PHARMAC had not previously considered.

Having reviewed all the consultation feedback the PHARMAC Board resolved to not accept any proposal and to terminate the RPF process. 

For the avoidance of doubt, this means the:

  • proposal as consulted upon on 5 September 2016 will not be progressed;
  • provisional agreements entered into with Novartis (for ranibizumab (Lucentis)) and Bayer (for aflibercept (Eylea)) will not come into effect; and
  • current listing of ranibizumab in Part II of Section H of the Pharmaceutical Schedule (the HML) as a second line treatment for wAMD will remain unchanged. 

We would like to thank everyone who took the time to provide feedback on the proposal.

PHARMAC intends to seek further advice from its clinical advisory committee(s) on the issues raised in consultation feedback and to consider the appropriateness of running a new RFP in the future for anti-VEGF agents for the treatment of both wAMD and diabetic macular oedema (DMO). 

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