PHARMAC is proposing changes to the funding of haemophilia treatments, and is seeking feedback on its proposal.
The four types of haemophilia treatments that are currently funded would continue to be funded.
The main changes concern the blood clotting agent recombinant Factor VIII (rFVIII). PHARMAC proposes that from 1 March 2016 there would be a preferred brand of rFVIII. The proposed preferred brand of rFVIII that PHARMAC is consulting on is Xyntha (Pfizer). PHARMAC is also proposing that a Haemophilia Treatments Panel is set up to determine which patients can have funded access to the other brands of rFVIII i.e. Kogenate FS and Advate. This Panel would be made up mainly of clinicians that treat haemophilia.
Patients’ specialists would decide if it is appropriate for a change to the preferred brand of Factor VIII. If not, the specialist would be able to submit an application to the Haemophilia Treatments Panel to have funding approved for another brand of Factor VIII.
The proposed change would be done over a six-month transition period starting from 1 September 2015 – 29 February 2016. This would give time for patients and specialists to adjust. PHARMAC and suppliers would provide support throughout this period.
The proposed changes would save money on haemophilia treatments. Every year, approximately $25 million is spent on these treatments in New Zealand, including $18 million which is used to fund Factor VIII. Competitive processes in other countries have successfully obtained significant price reductions on Factor VIII. National product switches in other countries have also not been observed to be associated with an enhanced inhibitor risk (Lillicrap D et al. Haemophilia 2014: 20 (4): 87-93).
PHARMAC will be taking into account all submissions it receives before it makes a decision.
You can access the consultation document at www.pharmac.health.nz/news/consultation-2015-05-26-haemophilia/”