People with haemophilia A and multiple sclerosis are set to benefit from a multi-medicine funding agreement between Pharmac and Roche Products (NZ), confirmed today.
This agreement will significantly expand access to these treatments from 1 October 2023. An estimated 140 more people living with haemophilia A will gain access to emicizumab (Hemlibra®) and approximately 210 people with the primary progressive form of multiple sclerosis (PPMS) will gain access to ocrelizumab (Ocrevus®) in the first 5 years.
Roche is pleased to have collaborated again with Pharmac. Our multi-medicine agreements bring access to innovative treatments for thousands of patients in New Zealand.
“We are really pleased to have again worked successfully with Pharmac to ensure New Zealanders can have access to these modern treatments,” says Roche NZ general manager, Alex Muelhaupt.
“These medicines will deliver better health outcomes and improved quality of life for people living with these chronic diseases, while also benefiting their caregivers and whānau, and New Zealand society.”
“Ocrevus slows the progression of PPMS, significantly delaying the worsening of symptoms compared to current treatments. It is the first targeted medicine to be funded for New Zealanders living with PPMS, giving patients an additional 7 years of mobility before needing to use a wheelchair.”
“For people living with severe haemophilia A, Hemlibra is the first medicine to significantly reduce bleeds compared to current standards of care. Severe haemophilia A is a lifelong bleeding disorder that has a substantial impact on the lives of the person and their whānau, so providing a less burdensome treatment can have a big impact. Hemlibra is the only preventative treatment that can be easily administered under the skin and offers a less frequent treatment option.”
“We want to acknowledge the work done by the NZ multiple sclerosis and haemophilia communities over the years, who have significantly contributed to the consideration and introduction of these new treatment options,” says Muelhaupt.
We look forward to continuing our work with Pharmac in the future to ensure all New Zealand patients get access to innovative medicines as quickly as possible.
Notes to editors
To interview Alex Muelhaupt, please contact:
Alexander Muelhaupt, General Manager
Roche Products (New Zealand) Limited
PO Box 109113, Newmarket, Auckland, 1149
Founded 125 years ago, Roche remains a family-owned and run global pharmaceutical company based in Basel, Switzerland. Roche has been in operation in New Zealand for 50 years since 1973. Roche has grown into the world’s largest biotechnology company and a global leader for in-vitro diagnostics.
Roche operates in New Zealand across two key businesses, Roche Pharmaceuticals and Roche Diagnostics. The ultimate aim of our almost 100 employees across the country is to enable New Zealand patients to gain access to our medicines and diagnostic tests in order to detect illnesses early, and to treat them with life-saving and life-changing medicines.
Roche Products (New Zealand) Limited, Auckland. Phone: 0800 656 464.
Ocrevus® (ocrelizumab), 300mg vial, is a Prescription Medicine used to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (RMS) and primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS).
Ocrevus is funded for patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis (RMS) who meet predefined criteria. From 1 October 2023, Ocrevus is also funded for people with primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) who meet predefined criteria.
Do not use Ocrevus if: you have had an allergic reaction to Ocrevus or any of the ingredients.
Tell your doctor if: you have an infection, or a history of a recurring or long-term infection such as hepatitis B; you are taking or have previously taken medicines which may affect your immune system, such as other medicines for MS; you or your child if they were exposed to Ocrevus during pregnancy, intend to have or have had immunisation with any vaccine; you are allergic to any other medicines or any other substances such as foods, preservatives or dyes; you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant; you are breast feeding or plan to breast feed.
Tell your doctor immediately or go to your nearest Accident and Emergency Centre if you notice any of the following; swelling of your face, lips, tongue or throat with difficulty breathing; swelling of other parts of your body; shortness of breath, wheezing or trouble breathing; skin problems including rash, itchiness or hives; fever, flushing or chills; cough, throat irritation or pain; feeling tired; headache; dizziness or light headedness; feeling sick (nausea); fast heartbeat.
Tell your doctor, nurse or pharmacist if you notice any of the following common side effects: signs of an infection such as fever or chills, cold sore, shingles or genital sores; stuffy nose or chest; thick mucus in the nose, throat or chest; persistent cough; difficulty sleeping (insomnia); diarrhoea, vomiting and/or stomach cramps (gastroenteritis); skin infections, sinus infections.
Ocrevus has risks and benefits. Ask your doctor if Ocrevus is right for you.
Use strictly as directed. If symptoms continue or you have side effects, see your healthcare professional. For further information on Ocrevus, please talk to your health professional or visit
Consumer Panel Version 4.
Hemlibra®(emicizumab), 30 mg in 1 mL, 60 mg in 0.4 mL, 105 mg in 0.7 mL and 150 mg in 1 mL ready-to-use solution for subcutaneous (SC) injection, is a Prescription Medicine used to prevent bleeding or reduce the frequency of bleeding in people with haemophilia A with or without factor VIII inhibitors.
Ask your doctor if Hemlibra® is right for you.
HEMLIBRA is funded for patients with haemophilia A with inhibitors, who meet predefined criteria. From 1 October 2023, HEMLIBRA is also funded for people with haemophilia A, without inhibitors, who meet predefined criteria.
Use only as directed. If symptoms continue or you have side effects, see your healthcare professional. For more information about Hemlibra®:
● talk to your health professional; or
Hemlibra® has risks and benefits.
Possible common side effects include: injection site reactions, headache, joint pains, high temperature or fever, diarrhoea, muscle aches, hives (urticaria), rash; swollen lips, mouth, face, tongue and/or throat and/or difficulty in swallowing and breathing (angioedema).
Do not use Hemlibra® if: you have had an allergic reaction to HEMLIBRA or any of the ingredients, or to any medicines that are made using Chinese hamster ovary cells.
Tell your doctor if: you have allergies to any other medicines, foods, preservatives or dyes; you are taking bypassing agents or any other blood product; you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant or are breastfeeding; you are using any other medicines, including any that you get without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.
Tell your doctor immediately or go to your nearest Accident and Emergency Centre if you notice any of the following: confusion, weakness, swelling of arms and legs, yellowing of skin and eyes, abdominal or back pain, feeling sick (nausea), being sick (vomiting) or urinating less – may be signs of thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA); swelling, warmth, pain or redness – may be signs of a blood clot in a vein near the surface of the skin; headache, numbness in your face, eye pain or swelling or vision impairment – may be signs of a blood clot in a vein behind your eye; blackening of the skin – may be a sign of severe damage to the skin tissue; if it appears that HEMLIBRA is no longer working for you – an uncommon occurrence of antibody production against HEMLIBRA.
Panel dated 10 July 2023.
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M-NZ-00000625-v6.0/MR9618/NOV23. This site was last updated NOV2023