Pharmac reverses epilepsy medication switch after fourth death

Pharmac has reversed a controversial decision to fund just one brand of epilepsy medicine after four patients died following the move.

The drug-buying agency says it's not known if the deaths were linked to the decision to switch from other brands -  funding it has now resumed.

"We need to make this adjustment in the interest of the safety of people and, as I say, so people keep on taking their medicine," says Dr Kenneth Clark, Pharmac's medical director.

Epilepsy New Zealand had called for Pharmac to reverse its decision to only cover the Logem brand.

According to RNZ, Pharmac would have saved $30 million over five years with the brand switch, after the agency stuck an exclusive deal with the company Mylan to fund Logem.

The move to switch to Logem was also made against the advice of MedSafe, RNZ reported.

Contact Newshub with your story tips: