New Zealand’s COVID-19 treatments portfolio

Pharmac is securing treatments for people with an active COVID-19 infection or at high risk of infection.

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Supply update: Baricitinib 2mg and 4mg tablets stock expiring end of April 2024

Baricitinib stock for the treatment of COVID-19 that was secured by Pharmac will be expiring at the end of April 2024. Pharmac has not purchased replacement stock and baricitinib will no longer be available after current stock expires. 

Supply of baricitinib was secured during Pharmac’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic to provide an alternative to tocilizumab for the treatment of moderate to severe COVID-19 in hospitalised patients. This was intended as a one-off purchase and, as supply issues with tocilizumab have been resolved, additional supply of baricitinib is not required. Tocilizumab will continue to be funded for people hospitalised with moderate to severe COVID-19.

Currently available

Treatments under review

Supply on hold

Treatments no longer available

Treating and managing COVID-19

The Manatū Hauora provides clinical advice for health professionals on COVID-19 treatments. Learn more:

Clinical management of COVID-19 in hospitalised adults - Manatū Hauora(external link)

Guidance and factsheets to support health professionals managing COVID-19 – Manatū Hauora(external link)

Covid resources for the public - Healthify(external link)

Medsafe's regulatory role in the response to COVID-19(external link)

Information about prescribing and dispensing unapproved medicines - Medsafe(external link)

Medsafe's update on applications for COVID-19 treatments(external link)

The virus and treatments have evolved

Due to the changing nature of COVID-19, some of the treatments that have been developed to treat the virus over the past few years may no longer be as effective as when they were first available.

Since the pandemic began, we have had to make decisions to purchase treatments with limited amounts of evidence. To make sure New Zealanders could get treatments to protect against severe illness, we purchased a range of options, with the aim of having treatments available that are effective against all COVID-19 variants and illness severities.

We assess the efficacy of treatments using the information that is available to us at the time and considering the current environment. We continue to monitor and review the treatments that are available for COVID-19 and evidence for their efficacy.

When we first secured treatments we knew that the virus would evolve and treatments could become less effective. Taking a portfolio approach to purchasing COVID-19 treatments helps us manage this risk.

Looking for more information?

We've had to do things differently to make sure New Zealanders could get access to these medicines. 

Our approach to funding COVID-19 treatments(external link)

We have released a large number of documents relating to COVID-19 medicines. Search our Official Information Act (OIA) responses for "COVID"

Official Information Act responses(external link)

Pharmac is responsible for securing medicines to treat and prevent COVID-19 for New Zealanders. Pharmac:

  • organises supply of the treatments
  • works with suppliers and the health sector and
  • sets the criteria for who can access the funded medicines.

If you have questions about COVID-19 medicines, email