Pharmac secures advance purchase agreement for a pre-exposure COVID-19 treatment

Media release Medicines COVID-19

Pharmac has negotiated an agreement with supplier AstraZeneca for its pre-exposure prophylactic COVID-19 treatment, which would be targeted to our most vulnerable New Zealanders. Tixagevimab with cilgavimab (supplied under the brand name Evusheld) is Pharmac’s fourth advance purchase agreement for a COVID-19 treatment, and its first for a pre-exposure prophylactic treatment.

“The pre-exposure prophylactic treatment includes two intramuscular injections – one of tixagevimab and one of cilgavimab – which are given to the person before they have been exposed to COVID-19 to provide protection against infection,” says Pharmac’s Chief Executive Sarah Fitt.

“We are pleased to have secured this treatment which will help those who are immunocompromised and at risk of an inadequate immune response to the COVID-19 vaccination or infection. The signed agreement is for supply of an initial 20,000 courses, with the option to purchase an additional 20,000 courses.”

“Our agreement is subject to AstraZeneca getting Medsafe approval for tixagevimab with cilgavimab to be used in New Zealand,” says Sarah. “Once this occurs, we expect New Zealanders could receive the treatment from mid-2022. We are pleased to be able to give Kiwis another line of defence against the virus.”

Treatments for COVID-19 are funded using money from the Government’s COVID-19 response relief fund rather than from the Combined Pharmaceutical Budget (CPB).

Learn more:

Clinical advice regarding tixagevimab with cilgavimab was sought from Pharmac’s COVID-19 Treatments Advisory Group in December 2021. This will be published on our website prior to consulting on the access criteria.

Pharmac's COVID-19 Treatments Advisory Group