Pharmac seeks views on access criteria for COVID-19 treatments

Media release Medicines COVID-19

Current access criteria

Find the latest access criteria for COVID-19 antivirals

Pharmac is seeking feedback on access criteria for two new COVID-19 treatments – tixagevimab with cilgavimab and sotrovimab.

“Pharmac has only been able to secure limited volumes of COVID-19 treatments, so we are using access criteria to ensure that the medicines are given to those with the highest health need and those most likely to benefit from the treatment,” says Lisa Williams, Pharmac’s Director of Operations. “Through our consultation process, we ask health professionals and stakeholders, including consumer groups and any other interested parties, for their feedback on the access criteria we are proposing. The consultation is also available on our website for anyone else wanting to have their say.”

Pharmac is proposing:

  • tixagevimab with cilgavimab be funded as a pre-exposure prophylaxis for severely immunocompromised people before they become infected with COVID-19, and
  • sotrovimab be funded for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 infection in high risk immunocompromised people, for whom currently funded treatment options for COVID-19 are unsuitable.

Pharmac has signed Advance Purchase Agreements for both tixagevimab with cilgavimab and sotrovimab, and they are now undergoing Medsafe assessment for use in New Zealand. “We want to ensure our access criteria are ready to be put into action as soon as these treatments are approved by Medsafe and delivered New Zealand,” says Ms Williams.

“There is a need for a range of COVID-19 treatments to be available now and in the future. While vaccinations and booster shots are the best defence against COVID-19, we are pleased to have COVID-19 treatments for those who become unwell,” concludes Ms Williams.

Visit the Pharmac website to find out more about New Zealand’s COVID-19 treatments portfolio.