Decision to award sole supply of metoprolol tartrate in the community and DHB hospitals

Medicines

Decision

PHARMAC is pleased to announce that a decision has been made to award Sole Supply Status in the Community and Hospital Supply Status in DHB hospitals to Apotex NZ Limited for its Apo-Metoprolol brand of metoprolol tartrate.

This decision has been made following:

In summary, the effect of the decision is that:

  • Sole Supply Status for metoprolol tartrate has been awarded to Apotex NZ Limited for its Apo-Metoprolol brand of 50 mg and 100 mg tablets from 1 November 2016 until 30 June 2018.
  • Hospital Supply Status for metoprolol tartrate has been awarded to Apotex NZ Limited for its Apo-Metoprolol brand of 50 mg and 100 mg tablets from 1 August 2016 until 30 June 2018 with a 1% DV limit.

This decision will result in:

  • a change in funded brand of metoprolol tartrate 50 mg and 100 mg tablets from Lopresor, supplied by Novartis New Zealand Limited, to Apo-Metoprolol supplied by Apotex NZ Limited. This will involve:
    • the tablet colour for the 50 mg tablet remaining pink and the tablet colour for the 100 mg tablet changing from light blue to white;
    • the tablet shape changing from heart shaped to standard convex shaped for both 50 mg and 100 mg tablets;
    • the packaging changing from plastic bottle to blister pack with foil for both 50 mg and 100 mg presentations;
    • the pack sizes remaining the same, 100 tablets per pack for 50 mg presentation and 60 tablets per pack for 100 mg presentation; and
    • a reduction in price for both presentations of metoprolol tartrate.

Details of the decision

Apo-Metoprolol (metoprolol tartrate) tablets will be listed in Section B and Part II of Section H of the Pharmaceutical Schedule at the following price and subsidy from 1 June 2016:

Chemical Presentation Brand Pack size Price and subsidy (ex GST, ex manuf)
Metoprolol tartrate Tab 50 mg Apo-Metoprolol 100 $4.64
Metoprolol tartrate Tab 100 mg Apo-Metoprolol 60 $6.09

Apo-Metoprolol brand of tablets 50 mg and 100 mg will have:

  • Sole Supply Status from 1 November 2016 until 30 June 2018; and
  • Hospital Supply Status from 1 August 2016 until 30 June 2018, with a 1% DV limit.

The incumbent, Lopresor brand, metoprolol tartrate 50 mg and 100 mg tablets will:

  • have a subsidy decrease to match the subsidy of Apo-Metoprolol from 1 August 2016 and will be delisted from 1 November 2016 in Section B of the Pharmaceutical Schedule; and
  • be delisted from 1 August 2016 from Part II of Section H of the Pharmaceutical Schedule.

For the avoidance of doubt, this decision will not impact on the listings of Slow-Lopresor, 200 mg long-acting tablet or the Lopressor 1 mg per ml, 5 ml vial injection.  These presentations will remain fully subsidised and listed without restriction in Section B of the Pharmaceutical Schedule and in Part II of Section H (the Hospital Medicines List, or HML) of the Pharmaceutical Schedule.

Implementation support – Brand Switch Fee

PHARMAC will provide patient information for use by healthcare professionals to help support patients with the change in brand.  Information will be able to be viewed and downloaded from the PHARMAC website.

A Brand Switch Fee will be available to be claimed on dispensing by pharmacies, once per patient, between 1 November 2016 and 31 January 2017, for Apo-Metoprolol 50 mg and 100 mg tablets.

Feedback received

We appreciate all of the feedback that we received and acknowledge the time people took to respond. All consultation responses received by Wednesday 2 December 2015 were considered in their entirety in making a decision on the proposed changes. The majority of responses were supportive of the proposal, and the following issues were raised in relation to specific aspects of the proposal:

Theme PHARMAC comment
This proposal would be a significant brand change and warrant a brand-switch fee. The respondent considered changes in appearance and packaging may be alarming for patients who have become familiar with a brand over a long period of time and could require pharmacist reassurance. A brand switch fee will apply.  
Requests that support such as patient information leaflets be made available for pharmacists, patients and GPs to explain the brand switch. Information for patients and health professionals, to support conversations about the change, will be available to view and download on PHARMAC’s website and PHARMAC online.

More information

If you have any questions about this decision, you can email us at enquiry@pharmac.govt.nz.