Lamotrigine: Information for health care professionals
In this section:
- Supporting your patient
- GP co-payment fees
- Reporting a problem with medication
- Funding for Lamictal and Arrow-Lamotrigine in exceptional circumstances
- On-going availability of other brands
- Process for pharmacists
- Who to contact
We value the work you do supporting patients through brand changes to medicines and making the transition smooth for them.
If you want to learn more about brand changes go to the CME-accredited training module called 'Beyond the Brand'.
We would especially like to support you as you help patients through this brand change of lamotrigine.
Key points to tell your patients about Logem
- Logem has the same active ingredient as the other brands of lamotrigine and is delivered to your body the same way.
- Logem should work the same way for you as your old brand of lamotrigine.
- Logem has been approved by Medsafe, the New Zealand Medicines Authority who decides what medicines are safe to use.
BPACnz has published an article which includes practical advice on supporting the lamotrigine brand change and includes background on the evidence behind the decision to change brands.
PHARMAC reimbursed the cost of a GP co-payment for patients who visited their doctor before 1 February 2020 with concerns about the lamotrigine brand change.
We encourage you to report any adverse reaction your patient experiences to CARM. You may also be able to submit a report through their patient management software.
Some people may have difficulty changing brands due to medical reasons or other concerns. For people who need it, we can continue to fund the same brand of medication. Prescribers need to apply via our exceptional circumstances process.
Application for funding for alternative brands of lamotrigine
PHARMAC will consider a funding application made by a prescriber for the Lamictal or Arrow-Lamotrigine brands of lamotrigine.
People who were not taking Lamictal or Arrow-Lamotrigine before 1 October 2019 are ineligible for exceptional circumstances funding for those brands. We are checking for a dispensing history.
We’ll consider funding these brands for people who:
- have been on lamotrigine prior to 1 October 2019, and
- have not tolerated the change, or
- have had breakthrough seizures, or
- have had mood destabilisation, or
- the prescriber has clinical concerns about the individual’s ability to manage the change (e.g. previous issues with medication changes, severe anxiety around this brand change), or
- have concerns about their ability to drive.
Duration of funding for the requested lamotrigine brand will, if granted, be determined by PHARMAC on a case-by-case basis. This may mean that you will need to submit a renewal application for ongoing funding. This would need to indicate why a change to Logem would not be clinically appropriate. All approvals will indicate the duration of funding.
- Complete an exceptional circumstances application form for funding an alternative brand of lamotrigine. Complete a separate form for each patient.
- Submit the application through PHARMAC's portal.
- You will receive a confirmation email that we have received the application and we may ask you some further questions to clarify your patient’s situation.
- PHARMAC may check dispensing history to validate the information provided on your application.
- We will contact you as soon as possible to let you know the outcome of the application. You will need to let your patient know the outcome of any application.
- You can call 0800 66 00 50 (option 2) or email NPPA@pharmac.govt.nz if you have any questions about the process.
PHARMAC has no contractual arrangements for supply of other brands of lamotrigine. However:
- GlaxoSmithKline advises that they will continue to make Lamictal brand of lamotrigine available in New Zealand
- Teva will continue to supply all strengths of Arrow-Lamotrigine in New Zealand if there is on-going market demand.
Please note: We don't have have any contractual agreements, as such we can't guarantee:
- an on-going supply of your specific lamotrigine brand
- what the price will be for that brand.
You process prescriptions for lamotrigine with exceptional circumstances approvals the same way as you would process prescriptions for medicines with a Special Authority approval.
Approved lamotrigine exceptional circumstances medication can continue to be dispensed, and claimed for, by any pharmacy.
It can be dispensed at a dose different to that specified on the approval without notification to, or the approval of, PHARMAC Exceptional Circumstances.
Who to contact
If you have any questions:
- email: email@example.com
- phone: 0800 660 050
Last updated: 9 July 2020