Health

Pharmac is funding a new treatment for rheumatoid arthritis to help those affected by tocilizumab inventory shortages

Pharmac is funding upadacitinib tablets as an alternative treatment for New Zealanders affected by severe rheumatoid arthritis. Tocilizumab out of stock..

“In New Zealand, about 400 people now use tocilizumab funded by Pharmac for many symptoms such as rheumatism and juvenile idiopathic arthritis,” explains Lisa Williams, Pharmac Operations Director.

“It took only a few weeks for rocheNZ, the supplier of tocilizumab, to tell us that a power outage had occurred and the supply was going to end. We quickly found an alternative treatment. I had to act. In reality, between October and January 2022, there is not enough tocilizumab to continue to treat everyone who is currently using it.

“Pharmac will fund new JAK inhibitors to maintain remaining tocilizumab inventory for priority patients Called upadacitinib for use by people with rheumatoid arthritis from October 1, 2021.

“Upadacitinib, unlike tocilizumab, is an oral pill. That means patients don’t have to go to the hospital for monthly treatment. Ensuring alternative treatment options means a significant reduction in demand for tocilizumab. This ensures that the remaining inventory is sufficient to treat priority patients until more patients arrive. “

Upadacitinib has been approved by Medsafe for use in rheumatoid arthritis and has been actively funded by Pharmamac’s Pharmacology and Treatment Advisory Board (PTAC) for use in rheumatoid arthritis. Anyone who wants to continue using upadacitinib after resuming tocilizumab supply can do so.

Upadacitinib supplier AbbVie has indicated that inventories will be readily available in the country and that products will be available in direct supply before the planned funding date of October 1.

“Due to the emergency we are dealing with, funding upadacitinib for rheumatoid arthritis has not been prioritized over other investment options in Pharmac and we have not publicly discussed funding (new drug). (Similar to the normal process before funding) .. However, we consulted with the Rheumatoid Subcommittee of PTAC and the Rheumatoid Arthritis Society of New Zealand.

“This is an unusual situation and we couldn’t follow normal practices,” says Lisa. “We have applied common sense to the situation. We are proud to ensure that New Zealanders in need of treatment have access.”

Pharmac is funding a new treatment for rheumatoid arthritis to help those affected by tocilizumab inventory shortages

Source link Pharmac is funding a new treatment for rheumatoid arthritis to help those affected by tocilizumab inventory shortages

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