PHARMAC is looking at funding two new oral medicines with substantial health benefits for the 50,000 New Zealanders with type 2 diabetes.

The medicines are empagliflozin (brand name Jardiance), empagliflozin with metformin (brand name Jardiamet), and dulaglutide (brand name Trulicity).

Evidence suggests these medicines do more than just reduce sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. They can also help address type 2 diabetes-related complications like kidney and heart disease.

“People with diabetes, their whānau and health professionals told us that there is a need for these effective medicines to be funded to help manage the growing health problem of type 2 diabetes in Aotearoa New Zealand’,” says PHARMAC’s deputy medical director Dr Pete Murray.

Consultation has gone out today to health professionals and is available on the PHARMAC website for anyone wanting to have their say about the proposal.

“Consultation is a very important step in our process. It’s how we check that what we are proposing can be implemented by the health sector and that the people who will get the most benefit from the medicines will be able to access them.”

If the proposal is approved, then people could access funded empagliflozin (with or without metformin), from 1 December this year. Dulaglutide would be funded once it had Medsafe approval.

“We believe that substantial health benefits could be gained through the funding of these new diabetes medicines by helping reduce the heart and kidney complications of diabetes. These new agents will also provide patients and clinicians with greater treatment options,” says Dr Murray.

“PHARMAC is committed to continuing our work to fund more medicines for more New Zealanders, delivering the best possible health outcomes possible.”

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