PHARMAC to seek further advice on azithromycin funding proposal

Medicines Decision

PHARMAC received a number of high-quality, well considered responses to the proposal to amend the funding restrictions for azithromycin. As a result of this feedback PHARMAC will be seeking further advice from the Pharmacology and Therapeutics Advisory Committee (PTAC) on aspects of our proposal relating to anti-infective agent – azithromycin. This means it will not be possible to amend the funding restrictions from July 2016 that we had proposed.

By way of background, PHARMAC issued a consultation letter on 4 May 2016 regarding a proposal to widen access to azithromycin for prevention of exacerbations of non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis in children and to amend access for other indications from 1 July 2016.

Significant clinical concerns were raised in feedback to our consultation. The need to consider these issues and seek further clinical advice means we will not be progressing the azithromycin proposal for a 1 July 2016 implementation date as proposed in the 4 May consultation letter.

PHARMAC will seek advice from PTAC at its 11-12 August 2016 meeting. As any future activities will depend on PTAC’s advice and consideration by PHARMAC, we are unable to commit to a firm timeline for progressing any proposal at present.

We understand that this is likely to be disappointing to those who were hopeful that this proposal could be progressed for a 1 July 2016 implementation. We would like to thank people who took the time to respond to the consultation and to provide assurance that we are committed to ensuring that the issues raised are appropriately considered and, where necessary, addressed.

You can follow progress of this proposal on our Application Tracker: link). This will include links to minutes from PTAC.

If you have any questions about this notification, please contact Katie Appleby, Therapeutic Group Manager, by email at