Proposed changes to the prescribing of Riluzole – MoH Consultation open until 9th August

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Following our 3rd April article, ‘Prescribing of Rilutek (Riluzole) – What you need to know’, we would like to update you on current progress.

Recently it has come to our attention that some of our clients have been prescribed the drug Riluzole (trade name “Rilutek”) by their General Practitioner. Under the Medicines Act 1981, Rilutek can only be prescribed by specialist physicians who care for patients with Motor Neurone Disease, neurologists and palliative care physicians. This includes repeat prescriptions. Your pharmacist should only dispense Rilutek if it has been prescribed by a specialist physician who cares for people with Motor Neurone Disease.

Following recent communication with Medsafe expressing concerns about the above situation, Medsafe agreed to publish a consultation on amending the prescribing restrictions. Recently they contacted us with an update in relation to the above stating-

Due to some unforeseen technical issues, there has been a delay in the consultation on the prescribing restrictions for riluzole. However, it has now been published to the Ministry of Health website at https://consult.health.govt.nz/medsafe/changes-to-the-prescribing-restrictions-for-riluzo/

MND New Zealand will be supporting the proposed changes outlined below:

Current prescribing restrictions

Rilutek can only be prescribed by specialist physicians who care for patients with Motor Neurone Disease, neurologists and palliative care physicians.

Proposed change to prescribing restrictions

Medsafe proposes that the restrictions be amended to allow relevant prescribers to prescribe riluzole, where the prescribing decision is taken in collaboration with, or following consultation with, physicians who care for patients with Motor Neurone Disease, neurologists and palliative care physicians.

Until the consultation is completed you will need to work with your specialist to ensure that you have the correct prescription, and an adequate supply of Rilutek if you are currently taking it. We will let you know about any future changes on our website and Facebook.

Please talk to your Support Team Member if you have any questions or require further information or email claire.reilly@mnd.org.nz

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