NZ Government penny-pinching risking lives and mental health

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Thousands of New Zealanders with mental health issues are being adversely affected by a Government penny-pinching exercise.

A cost-cutting exercise by Pharmac has led to an effective SSNRI - Effexor XR -being replaced with a generic - Enlafax XR.

Pharmac states that "Enlafax XR has been thoroughly evaluated by Medsafe to ensure it’s safe and works the same as the other brands".


Many, many people previously on Effexor XR have been affected by the change in medication in ways that are adversely affecting their day to day lives. Reported issues include:

premature withdrawal side effects,
mood swings,
heightened anxiety,
panic attacks,
night sweats
suicidal thoughts.

(A link to just one forum in which Effexor patients are expressing concern: )

Many, many people want to go back to Effexor - because it works. However, many won't be able to afford the $30-$40 a month required to pay for the now non-funded Effexor and will be forced to accept Enlafax. 

We need to make sure our Minister of Health and those who are invested in ensuring that "medicines and medical devices have acceptable efficacy, quality and safety" (MedSafe) are made aware of this issue and TAKE ACTION to safeguard those at risk. 

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