People with HAE are the first to benefit from the increased competition for rare disorders medicines promoted by Pharmac, the government agency that decides which pharmaceuticals to publicly fund in New Zealand. Pharmac has approved an agreement with Shire Pharmaceuticals to fund icatibant (Firazyr).
Chief Executive Steffan Crausaz says Pharmac began testing a new approach to promote competition in 2014, seeking better access to medicines for people with rare disorders. Pharmac identified up to 25 million NZD (14.1 million EUR) available over five years, and sought proposals from companies supplying medicines for rare disorders. The agency received proposals for 28 medicines, many of them previously not seen in New Zealand before and from suppliers Pharmac has not previously done business with. Shire, for example, had not previously supplied medicines in the country.
Pharmac estimates there may be up to 90 patients with HAE in New Zealand, of whom up to 25 may meet the criteria for funded treatment with icatibant.