Pharmac confirms funding of rituximab for IgG4-related disease

Media release Medicines

Te Pātaka Whaioranga - Pharmac has published a notification for widened access to rituximab (branded as Riximyo) for people with the chronic inflammatory condition immunoglobulin G4-related disease (IgG4-RD).

“We’re pleased that we’ve been able to widen access to this medicine for people with IgG4-related disease,” says Pharmac’s Chief Medical Officer Dr David Hughes. “This will lead to improvements in the health and wellbeing of people affected by the condition that are currently living with the wide range of symptoms.”

Pharmac currently funds rituximab for cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and autoimmune and blood conditions.

“While IgG4-related disease is uncommon and has only recently been identified, our Pharmacology and Therapeutics Advisory Committee recommended this medicine for funding with a high priority,” says Dr Hughes.

IgG4-related disease, which can also be known as IgG4-related systemic disease, is a chronic inflammatory condition that can affect many organs and body systems. People with the disease have a wide diverse range of symptoms, signs, and severity. Rituximab is a monoclonal antibody medicine that helps the body to create an immune response to the disease.

Rituximab is administered as an intravenous infusion and is not Medsafe approved for use in IgG4-related disease. It will need to be prescribed and used in accordance with section 25 of the Medicines Act 1981.

Widened access to rituximab will be available from 1 July 2023 subject to eligibility criteria.