Removal of access restrictions for ezetimibe and ezetimibe with simvastatin
What we’re doing
We're pleased to announce that from 1 November 2023 Pharmac will remove the access restrictions applied to both ezetimibe and ezetimibe with simvastatin tablets.
Ezetimibe and ezetimibe with simvastatin are lipid-modifying medicines which are used to reduce blood cholesterol levels and the risk of cardiovascular disease in people at risk of cardiovascular events (eg heart attack, stroke) who are unable to achieve the target level of cholesterol reduction using other cholesterol reducing medicines.
Pharmac has received a number of requests from a wide range of health care stakeholders requesting the removal of the Special Authority criteria on these medicines due to additional burden on the prescribing process. These are now relatively inexpensive medicines and used in a stable patient population.
Removing the Special Authority requirement for these medicines will help people who need ezetimibe and ezetimibe with simvastatin to reduce their cardiovascular risk. People will be able to access the medicines more freely and there will be less administrative burden on the health system. This will also help to improve medicines’ access equity in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease.
Who we think will be most interested
- People with high cholesterol, heart disease, other cardiovascular disease and their whānau.
- Primary and secondary healthcare professionals who treat people with high cholesterol and/or cardiovascular risk.
- Hospital and community pharmacists, Te Whatu Ora Hospitals and wholesalers.
- Suppliers of pharmaceuticals to the New Zealand market.
Detail about this decision
The following changes will occur in Section B and Part II of Section H of the Pharmaceutical Schedule.
Section B and Section H (Hospital Medicines List) changes
Special Authority criteria for ezetimibe (tab 10 mg), and ezetimibe with simvastatin (tab ezetimibe 10 mg with simvastatin 10 mg, tab 10 mg with simvastatin 20 mg, tab 10 mg with simvastatin 40 mg and tab 10 mg with simvastatin 80 mg) will be removed from 1 November 2023 in Section B of the Pharmaceutical Schedule.
Hospital Indication Restrictions for ezetimibe (tab 10 mg) and ezetimibe with simvastatin (tab ezetimibe 10 mg with simvastatin 10 mg, tab 10 mg with simvastatin 20 mg, tab 10 mg with simvastatin 40 mg and tab 10 mg with simvastatin 80 mg) will also be removed from Part II of Section H of the Pharmaceutical Schedule from 1 November 2023.
Ezetimibe and ezetimibe with simvastatin will be fully funded without restriction, this means from 1 November 2023 these medicines will be available for any New Zealanders who need them.
If you have any questions about this decision, you can email us at email@example.com; or call our toll free number (9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday) on 0800 660 050.