News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 

New Anti-Depressant Drug Funded

Media release

New Anti-Depressant Drug Funded

A new treatment for depression will be funded from 1 January 2004 following an agreement between PHARMAC and pharmaceutical company Wyeth (NZ) Ltd.

Venlafaxine (Efexor XR) will be listed on the Pharmaceutical Schedule for the treatment of severe depression, and can be used both in hospitals and in community settings.

PHARMAC medical director Dr Peter Moodie says funding venlafaxine will give clinicians another valuable tool to help people whose depression has proved difficult to treat.

“Venlafaxine is an effective treatment for those people who have not responded to other antidepressants, so it is pleasing to be able to provide fully-funded access to it,” says Dr Moodie.

“We are aware that clinicians have been asking to have this drug available for patients, so its benefits are already recognised. The clinical advice PHARMAC has received has also been positive so we are happy to have reached an agreement with Wyeth that has allowed it to be funded.”

PHARMAC is anticipating that just under $1 million will be spent subsidising venlafaxine in the first year, rising to about $5 million after five years. Patient numbers are difficult to estimate, but could be up to 8000, Dr Moodie says.

Since Venlafaxine exhibits inhibition of serotonin and noradrenaline uptake it may be useful in those patients who failed to respond to SSRIs or other antidepressants, Dr Moodie says.

Dr Moodie says this listing also assists in meeting the Government’s commitment to improving mental health services, as outlined in the New Zealand Health Strategy.

[ends]

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Legendary Bassist David Friesen Plays Wellington’s Newest Jazz Venue

Friesen is touring New Zealand to promote his latest album Another Time, Another Place, recorded live at Auckland's Creative Jazz Club in 2015. More>>

Howard Davis Review: The Father - Descending Into The Depths of Dementia

Florian Zeller's dazzling drama The Father explores the effects of a deeply unsettling illness that affects 62,000 Kiwis, a number expected to grow to 102,000 by 2030. More>>


Howard Davis Review: Blade Runner Redivivus

When Ridley Scott's innovative, neo-noir, sci-fi flick Blade Runner was originally released in 1982, at a cost of over $45 million, it was a commercial bomb. More>>

14-21 October: New Zealand Improv Festival In Wellington

Imagined curses, Shibuya’s traffic, the apocalypse, and motherhood have little in common, but all these and more serve as inspiration for the eclectic improvised offerings coming to BATS Theatre this October for the annual New Zealand Improv Festival. More>>

ALSO:

Bird Of The Year Off To A Flying Start

The competition asks New Zealanders to vote for their favourite bird in the hopes of raising awareness of the threats they face. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books:
Jenny Abrahamson's John & Charles Enys: Castle Hill Runholders, 1864-1891

This volume will be of interest to a range of readers interested in the South Island high country, New Zealand’s natural environment, and the history of science. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland