Long-term metoprolol succinate solution confirmed

Media release Medicines

PHARMAC is pleased to confirm a long-term supply for metoprolol succinate.

From 1 March 2018, AstraZeneca will be the sole-supplier of metoprolol succinate in New Zealand, with its brand Betaloc-CR.

“PHARMAC understands the importance of metoprolol succinate for so many New Zealanders”, says PHARMAC Director of Operations, Sarah Fitt.

“While patients have been able to get their medicine in one form or another, we know that this has been a very difficult time for many people, and we thank them for their understanding and patience through this time,” says Ms Fitt.

New Zealand is one of the highest users of metoprolol succinate in the world, which means sourcing other stock internationally is difficult. PHARMAC recognises this and have put additional safeguards in place to help prevent future issues.

“In addition to the contractual expectations PHARMAC has in place on all suppliers of medicines in New Zealand, we’re requiring AstraZeneca to hold a minimum of 4 months of safety stock of metoprolol succinate in New Zealand, instead of the standard 2 months,” says Ms Fitt.

“This safeguard should give patients confidence in the new agreement PHARMAC has with AstraZeneca, and in our ability to manage any future issues with a medicine that over 250,000 New Zealanders rely on.”

Throughout the supply issue, pharmacy and clinicians have been instrumental in helping patients cope with the uncertainty with their medicine.

“PHARMAC would like to thank pharmacists, prescribers and wholesalers all over New Zealand for assisting their patients through this stock shortage. We’re pleased that with your help and understanding we’ve been able to continue to get people the medicine they needed during this time,” says Ms Fitt.


Media contact: 021 863 342 or media@pharmac.govt.nz  

Further information – available stock

During the transition to the new agreement, there will continue to be several different funded brands available. Wholesalers will work with pharmacy to manage this transition. PHARMAC provided regular updates to pharmacy and prescribers during this time.

The notification for the decision to award sole supply of metoprolol succinate can be found on the PHARMAC website.