PHARMAC to work with others to improve communication

Media release

PHARMAC accepts the Coroner’s comments that not all information about the brand change reached patients.

“We offer our deepest condolences to the families and friends of Ricky Blackler, Reuben Brown, Krystle Loye, Andre Maddock, William Oliver, and Jessica Reid,” says PHARMAC’s director of operations Lisa Williams.

“I attended every day of the inquest and listened to all evidence shared. The strength of the families of those who passed away was inspiring and I applaud them for taking part.

“The Coroner has said the evidence does not clearly link the brand change to the deaths. However, she made comments that our patient leaflet did not include all the information that people taking lamotrigine needed to know. It is our responsibility to ensure that health professionals are informed of brand changes, and that suitable resources are available for patients. 

“We will be working with the Ministry of Health to improve how brand change information is shared across the health sector and to clarify who is responsible for passing this onto patients. This is a joint project that will also include the Medical Council, the Pharmacy Council and the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners.”