Pharmac has negotiated an agreement with pharmaceutical supplier Roche to purchase another COVID-19 treatment. Branded
as Ronapreve, it could be used in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 in New Zealand.
Ronapreve belongs to a class of medicines called monoclonal antibodies, or mAbs. The chemical names are casirivimab and
imdevimab. They mimic the natural antibodies that the immune system makes to fight disease. Ronapreve is currently being
assessed by Medsafe.
“While getting vaccinated is by far and away the best line of defence against COVID-19, it’s good to know New Zealand
will have another treatment available for those who do become unwell,” says Pharmac’s Chief Executive Sarah Fitt.
“The unprecedented nature of the pandemic, and the ongoing health risks posed by COVID-19, means Pharmac is continuing
to seek out other treatments to be used to help those with COVID-19,” says Sarah. “To fund these other treatments, we’re
using a dedicated budget allocated by Government to make sure New Zealand can access new COVID-19 medicines.”