PHARMAC currently funds two GnRH analogues that are used for a variety of conditions including prostate cancer, breast cancer and endometriosis. From 1 December 2016, only one of these, goserelin acetate (Zoladex), will be fully funded.
This means that people using leuprorelin will need to switch to goserelin acetate if they wish to continue on fully funded treatment. Children and adolescents can continue to receive fully funded leuprorelin via endorsement and would not need to change.
PHARMAC received expert clinical advice that both goserelin and leuprorelin work in the same, or very similar way, so there should be no clinical concerns in changing from leuprorelin to goserelin.
You can read more about this decision in the notification that PHARMAC released in August.
Health professionals will play a big part in the success of this change and to help with this PHARMAC has published material on their website which further explains the change, and has some useful training material for people new to administering goserelin. AstraZeneca, the supplier for goserelin has also offered training for those that require it. Contact Astra Zeneca at 0800 ZOLADEX (0800 965 2339) to arrange training if required.
If you have any questions, you can contact PHARMAC via email at email@example.com.