Uptake of medicines for type 2 diabetes

Empagliflozin (with and without metformin) has been funded since 1 February 2021. It is funded for people with high-risk type 2 diabetes who meet certain criteria.

A PHARMAC first 

This was the first time we specifically name Māori and Pacific ethnicities within the funding criteria.  This was to proactively promote equity of access to this medicine. 

As part of the decision to fund this medicine, we said we would actively monitor and report on uptake. 

We plan to update this information monthly. As different data becomes available, we will include that information. 

Empagliflozin and empagliflozin with metformin

Total number of people who have a Special Authority approved as at 11 July 2021: 27,965

Special Authority criteria

% of applications per criteria

Māori or Pacific ethnicity


Pre-existing cardiovascular disease


5-year cardiovascular disease risk


High lifetime cardiovascular risk (childhood or young adult)


Diabetic kidney disease



Sum of percentage of each criteria will be greater than 100% as applicants may have ticked more than one criteria. 

The criteria for Māori or Pacific ethnicity is prioritised.  If an applicant has ticked the Māori or Pacific ethnicity criteria, they do not need to tick another criteria.  This means that the total number of applications will underrepresent those with cardiovascular and renal risk criteria.