Pharmac funds ramipril for people with high blood pressure

Media release Medicines

Pharmac today has announced the decision to fund ramipril (branded as Tryzan), an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor used to treat a variety of cardiovascular conditions. The medicine will be funded without restriction and prescribed for any relevant use from 1 December 2022.

“Pharmac currently funds six ACE inhibitors(external link), which are used by hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders,” says Pharmac’s chief medical officer Dr David Hughes. “These medicines help people with high blood pressure, heart failure, progressive kidney disease and the prevention of other issues. Funding another ACE inhibitor has been on our radar for a while, so we’re really pleased to have this as an additional treatment option.”

“By funding ramipril with open access, we hope to encourage health care practioners to transition their patients off cilazapril. This need for change was initially signalled in May 2021 when it was noted of the people using ACE inhibitors, 60% of them, around 240,000, were taking cilazapril. New Zealand was recorded as the highest user of this medicine in the world with a limited number of pharmaceutical companies producing the medicine, and with the risk of supply issues, this use wasn’t sustainable.”

In May 2021 we restricted anyone new moving onto cilazapril, and this July we indicated that we plan to delist the medicine in mid-2024. Having ramipril available will help people make a smooth transition over the next few months. Ramipril will also be in a capsule form which some patients may prefer over the more common tablet form of other listed ACE inhibitors.

“From the outset of this change we have wanted to make sure people could keep taking their medicines and the sector was informed to educate their community. We recommend health care practioners view the updated He Ako Hiringa resources and people in the community visit Health Navigator for more information on funded ACE inhibitors,” concludes Dr Hughes.