Decision to fund colecalciferol oral liquid

Medicines

Decision

We’re pleased to announce that colecalciferol oral liquid (vitamin D3, brand name Puria) will be funded in community and hospitals without restriction from 1 January 2019.

Any changes to the original proposal?

Our original proposal, which was the subject of a consultation letter dated 5 November 2018, included funding restrictions.

However, following careful consideration of consultation feedback, we have decided to fund colecalciferol oral liquid without any restrictions.

Who we think will be most interested

  • Paediatricians, dietitians, general practitioners, and other clinicians involved in treating vitamin deficiencies;
  • patients with vitamin deficiencies or their caregivers;
  • suppliers of vitamins, pharmacists; DHBs.

Detail about this decision

From 1 January 2019, colecalciferol oral liquid 188 mcg per ml (7,500 iu per ml, Puria) will be listed in Section B and Part II of Section H of the Pharmaceutical Schedule at the following price and subsidy as follows (ex-manufacturer, excl. GST):

Chemical

Presentation

Brand

Pack Size

Price and subsidy
(ex-man., ex. GST)

Colecalciferol

Oral liq 188 mcg per ml (7,500 iu per ml)

Puria

4.8 ml OP

$9.00

Puria will be listed without funding restrictions in both community and hospital.

Colecalciferol oral liquid (Puria) will be subject to stat (three months at once) dispensing, and original pack (OP) dispensing will apply.

Our response to what you told us

We’re really grateful for the time people took to respond to this consultation.

The main theme raised in consultation feedback was that consideration be given to wider access beyond the restrictions proposed in our consultation including to allow prophylaxis in infants, treatment of patients unable to swallow capsules, and removal of the requirement to test for deficiency.

Following consideration of this feedback, PHARMAC has decided to fund colecalciferol oral liquid (Puria) without any funding restrictions.

A summary of other feedback themes not addressed by widening access is below:

Feedback theme

Our response

A responder noted that since Puria is dispensed by drops, it could risk inaccurate dosing.

Another responder considered that Puria would be much easier to administer and store for parents.

We are not aware of any supplier of a vitamin D-only oral liquid that is not dosed in drops.

One responder considered that there is a risk of infection if bottles are shared between infants in hospitals.

We would encourage hospitals to consider having one bottle for each infant.

A responder considered Puria would be a difficult regimen when used to treat deficiency, as it takes 10 seconds to form each drop and treatment of deficiency would require 5 drops a day.

We are not aware of any supplier of a vitamin D-only oral liquid that is not dosed in drops.

One responder noted the product contains 2.9% w/w ethanol, though the responder was not clear if this was an issue given the low volume.

We note the amount of ethanol in each dose would be very small but would encourage patients and/or caregivers to discuss any concerns about this with their prescriber.

Several responders noted the need for a vitamin A-containing oral liquid.

We acknowledge the need for a vitamin A-containing oral liquid and are looking for potential suppliers of an appropriate product.

A responder considered that Puria should be made available for over the counter sale to any person.

The decision to fund Puria would not prevent private sales of the product.

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.