Cost of funding antiseizure medicines

OIA response

12 January 2021

Dear [name and contact details withheld]


Thank you for your request dated 4 December 2020 under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA), and further correspondence on 14 December 2020, for information relating to the funding of anxiolytics. You wrote:

I’m trying to find out how much PHARMAC is spending on different antiseizure medications.

The drugs I am interested in are: acetazolamide, carbamazepine, clobazam, clonazepam, ethosuximide, gabapentin, lacosamide, lamotrigine, levetiracetam, nitrazepam, oxcarbazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone, sodium valproate, stiripentol, topiramate and vigabatrin.

Please could I have the information per drug unit and per drug per year.

Questions I'd like answered:

  1. How much is spent for one unit (however much a unit is) of sodium Valproate,
  2. how much is spent for sodium valproate overall per year?

Please find the requested data attached. We have provided funding information for the previous five financial years[1] (i.e. 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/20). Please note that figures provided are the gross funding cost and that confidential rebates may apply.

The list price for all medicines funded by PHARMAC can be found on the Online Pharmaceutical Schedule(external link) and can be used to calculate the single unit price. The list price is the gross cost of funded medicines, excluding any confidential rebates that may apply. 

We trust that this information answers your queries. We are making our information more freely available, so we will now publish selected OIA responses (excluding personal details) on our website. Please get in touch with us if you have any questions about this. 

Yours sincerely

Rachel Read
Manager, Policy and Government Services


[1] PHARMAC’s financial year runs from 1 July to 30 June.

Download the data released under the OIA