From 01 April 2016 Dulcolax will be removed from the Pharmac Schedule.
This means Pharmac will stop subsidising Dulcolax and a new generic brand of suppositories will replace Dulcolax. The new generic suppository is called Lax-suppositories. Both suppositories contain the same active ingredient.
ACC will fund the new generic Lax-suppositories at the fully subsidised rate (no pharmacy charge). Dulcolax will still be available as long as supplies last, but it may eventually become unavailable if the pharmaceutical company stops bringing it into NZ.
Impact on clients
Clients who use Dulcolax may ask if they can continue to use it.
ACC funds generic products, unless there are specific clinical reasons a client cannot use the generic product. If a client wishes to continue using Dulcolax, we need the GP/Specialist who completed the prescription to give the reasons for their patient’s continued use of Dulcolax and why Lax-suppositories cannot be used instead.
If ACC agrees to fund Dulcolax, we can contribute to the cost (not fully fund) and the client is likely to have to pay a pharmacy surcharge, which cannot be reimbursed.
Some clients have reported negative effects including increased bowel accidents, longer periods of time to empty their bowels and an inability to independently open the packet. If clients are not happy with the new suppository, encourage them to discuss with their GP who can look at the clients regime and if required report these negative effects. To date the drug company has not had any complaints about the new suppository. Clients themselves can also report any adverse reactions via medsafehttp://www.medsafe.govt.nz/Safety/report-a-problem.asp
If you know of any client who would like their individual circumstance considered we recommend they contact their Case Owner and request pharmaceutical funding, ACC is able to consider either paying the prescription co-payment charge for subsidised items, or a contribution to the cost for partly subsidised and non-subsidised pharmaceuticals.
Please note: If clients would like ACC to consider the funding of Dulcolax information would need to be provided from the GP including reasons for the need to consider the funding of the original product. So a conversation with the GP is the best starting point.
ACC may look at alternative options to work with clients to cope with the change of the subsidised medication prior to considering approval of funding, such as a Nursing Assessment from someone with skills in continence issues. to assist with establishing routines due to this medication change.
It is also important to note: From approximately five weeks ago medsafe had not received any reports of adverse reactions to the new product Lax-suppositories, we recommend that if people are experiencing difficulty with the product they report this to medsafe, this may include the change in the time taken, opening the packet, accidents, change in routines, any nausea etc. If these issues are not reported then these issues will not be known at the source level.
Regards Brendan Tourelle