Decisions involving diazepam, gabapentin, and naltrexone

Medicines Decision

PHARMAC is pleased to announce the approval of proposals relating to diazepam, gabapentin and naltrexone.

This was the subject of a consultation letter dated 14 June 2013. 

The decisions are summarised as follows:

  • the subsidy and delisting protection for diazepam 2 mg and 5 mg tablets (Arrow-Diazepam) will be extended to 30 June 2017;
  • Arrow-Gabapentin (gabapentin 100 mg, 300 mg and 400 mg capsules) will be listed in the Pharmaceutical Schedule from 1 December 2013 subject to the same restrictions that apply to the Nupentin brand of gabapentin;
  • the subsidy for the Nupentin brand of gabapentin 300 mg and 400 mg capsules in Section B of the Pharmaceutical Schedule will be reduced to the level of the Arrow-Gabapentin subsidies via the application of reference pricing from 1 March 2014. Patients with a Special Authority for gabapentin for epilepsy prior to 1 March 2014 will be able to continue to access full subsidy for Nupentin via endorsement;
  • access to naltrexone 50 mg tablets (Naltraccord) will be widened in Section B of the Pharmaceutical Schedule from 1 August 2013 via extension of the Special Authority approval periods from 3 to 6 months, in conjunction with a price decrease.

The consultation letter also included a proposal to remove the Special Authority and hospital restrictions from the Arrow-Venlafaxine XR brand of venlafaxine from 1 August 2013.  A decision on this proposal has been delayed while PHARMAC considers issues raised during consultation on the proposal, so it will not be implemented from 1 August 2013 as proposed.  PHARMAC expects to make a decision on this proposal in early August, potentially with a 1 September 2013 implementation date if the proposal is approved.