PHARMAC widens access to lamotrigine through exceptional circumstances process

PHARMAC has today widened access to lamotrigine through the exceptional circumstances criteria after concerns over the brand change to Logem-only. 

Since 1 October 2019, people taking lamotrigine, a medicine used to treat epilepsy and some mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder, have been involved in a brand change from Lamictal, Arrow-Lamotrigine and Logem to Logem only.

However, today PHARMAC announced that they have widened the criteria for accessing lamotrigine through the exceptional circumstances process. This means that if you have difficulty changing to the Logem brand for medical reasons, have other concerns, or have tried to change and have not tolerated it, you may be eligible to have your current brand funded. 

PHARMAC will continue to fund the brand you are currently on or were originally on before the change. This will be done through the exceptional circumstances process. 

People taking lamotrigine who have concerns about changing brands should talk with their doctor about remaining on their current brand and are advised not to stop taking their medications. Read more

How do I apply for exceptional circumstances funding for lamotrigine?

If you want to apply for funding under the exceptional circumstances process talk to your doctor. Your doctor can apply for funding on your behalf using an exceptional circumstances form. 

Applications for exceptional circumstances funding will be considered for individuals that:

  • have not tolerated the change
  • have had breakthrough seizures
  • have had mood destabilisation
  • have concerns about their ability to drive
  • or whose prescriber has clinical concerns about their ability to manage the change (e.g. previous issues with medication changes, severe anxiety around this brand change).

Once PHARMAC has received your exceptional circumstances application they will send a confirmation letter to your doctor and may also ask some further questions to clarify your situation. PHARMAC will contact your doctor as soon as possible to let them know the outcome of the application. Your doctor will pass this information onto you. Your doctor can call 0800 66 00 50 or email NPPA@pharmac.govt.nz if they have any questions about the process. Read more 

Learn more

PHARMAC to widen access to the exceptional circumstances process for lamotrigine PHARMAC
Lamotrigine: Logem is the new funded brand PHARMAC