Stock issue with oral contraceptive pill Brevinor 1/28

Suppliers of the combined oral contraceptive pill, Brevinor 1/28, have advised that current stocks will run out in August 2020. They are expecting more stock to arrive in New Zealand by mid-October 2020. The suppliers have been unable to source an alternative equivalent brand.

The shortage is due to ongoing supply issues with all ethinyloestradiol and norethisterone products, the hormones found in Brevinor 1/28. Read more about the combined oral contraceptive pill

What does it mean for me?

If you are currently taking Brevinor 1/28 and need a new prescription, talk to your prescriber about alternative contraceptive options for you. 

Your health professional will provide you with advice on the alternative types of contraception that are available, including discussing with you: 

  • what alternative form of contraception would work best for you
  • how to maintain effective contraception when switching between brands or types of contraception
  • the 7-day rule when switching between brands.

What is Brevinor 1/28?

Brevinor 1/28 is a combined pill ('the pill'), which contains the female hormones oestrogen and progestogen and stops your ovaries from releasing an egg each month. Note that you can get pregnant as soon as you stop taking the pill. 

How can I switch brands of oral contraceptive tablets safely?

When changing brands of oral contraceptive tablets, to ensure continuous contraceptive cover and reduce your risk of getting pregnant, you can do one of the following:

Skip the pill-free interval
Start the new brand on active hormone pills and skip the pill-free interval (ie, follow active tablets of the former brand with active tablets of the new brand without a pill-free interval). Following this advice means that you will miss a withdrawal bleed for that cycle.

Apply the 7-day rule
Applying the 7-day rule means that you should use alternative methods of contraception, such as condoms, until 7 active hormone tablets have been taken from the new pack.

What are the alternative forms of contraception?

There are several alternative contraceptives funded in New Zealand, including other oral contraceptives, barrier contraceptives and long-acting reversible contraceptives. The ideal birth control method for you will depend on factors such as:

  • your health
  • how reliable you need your contraception to be
  • how often you have sex
  • how many sexual partners you have
  • whether you want to have children in the future. 

Read more about contraception.

Learn more

The Pill Family Planning, NZ


  1. Brevinor 1/28 (ethinyloestradiol 35 mcg with norethisterone 1 mg): stock issue PHARMAC, NZ, 6 August 2020
  2. Avoiding pregnancy risk when changing oral contraceptives Medsafe, NZ, 1999