Arthritis NZ’s thoughts are with people affected by Cyclone Gabrielle. In areas affected by flooding, people using arthritis medicines may be worried about availability.
Logistics and transport delays are inevitable, with communications down and road impassable. Pharmac are in touch with suppliers and logistics providers and post updates to the Pharmac website if issues affect patients’ supplies of medications.
There are no new notifications of shortages due to the state of emergency. Any changes will be updated on the Pharmac website.
Due to local conditions, supply issues are possible. To guard against shortages affecting patient supplies. Pharmac has two notices for pharmacies to help ensure patients get their medications when needed.
- Cyclone-affected pharmacies can use their discretion when dispensing medications up until the 21st This notice is in place for pharmacies in:
- Hawke’s Bay
- Pharmacies can change the frequency and amount of medicine dispensed product by product, based on a patient’s needs and how much stock they are holding. Medicines can be dispensed anywhere between for three months at a time, down to two weeks. For now, this notice applies to pharmacies in:
- Hawke’s Bay
- Counties Manukau
- Bay of Plenty
- Midcentral – Feilding
If you have lost your medications in flooding, Medsafe has also extended medicines emergency supply provisions, allowing pharmacists to supply up to 14 days without a prescription.
For people who use medications (e.g. biologics) that require refrigeration: Check your instruction sheets for storage recommendations. Some biologics, like Enbrel, Humira and Amgevita, can be stored for at least two weeks at room temperature (below 25 degrees). If not refrigerated, these medications must be used within this timeframe or disposed of through your local pharmacy.