You’ve decided to try Emgality (galcanezumab) for migraine prevention, you’ve got your prescription from an obliging doctor and now you have to get the prescription filled from a local pharmacy.
Unfortunately, not all pharmacies are up-to-date with this new migraine treatment and some people have had issues with getting their prescription for Emgality filled for a reasonable price. We know Emgality is expensive – but being told it will cost $1,000 an injection is enough to bring on a migraine attack.
Here’s how to approach a pharmacy that isn’t familiar with Emgality.
What to know
Emgality (galcanezumab) is available to any pharmacy throughout New Zealand, as an injection containing 120mg of Emgality.
The manufacturer, Eli Lilly, has provided special access pricing to all pharmacies in New Zealand.
However, this special access pricing is only available when Emgality is ordered through the pharmaceutical supplier CDC Pharmaceuticals. If the pharmacy contacts a different supplier, they’ll be quoted the non-discounted price (around $800-$1,000 per dose).
The current ‘standard’ price charged by pharmacies that get Emgality through CDC Pharmaceuticals is around $325 per dose, although some give a slightly lower price. Check with your pharmacy about what they can offer you.
Issue: The pharmacy is quoting $800-$1,000 per dose of Emgality.
Response: Ask the pharmacy to contact CDC Pharmaceuticals for the special access pricing. Murray Campbell is the General Manager Hospital and Inventory at CDC Pharmaceuticals and is happy to arrange supply (phone: 0274 736 761 or (06) 831 0621; email Murray@cdc.co.nz).
Issue: The pharmacy doesn’t usually buy stock from CDC Pharmaceuticals.
Response: It doesn’t matter if CDC Pharmaceuticals isn’t the pharmacy’s usual supplier. CDC Pharmaceuticals can supply Emgality to any pharmacy who requests it.
Issue: The pharmacy is quoting more than $325 a dose, even with the special access pricing.
Response: Tell the pharmacy that $325 is the going price at Grafton Pharmacy in Auckland, Cuba Mall Unichem in Wellington, Unichem Fifteenth Avenue Pharmacy in Tauranga, Life Pharmacy in St Heliers, Auckland and others. To be competitive, they should match that price or go lower!
If you’re struggling to find a pharmacy near you, join our private Facebook support group. Our members are great at sharing which pharmacies are able to easy supply Emgality, and prices.
Find out more about Emgality
Visit our Emgality Advocacy Toolkit to find out how you can support our application to have Emgality funded in New Zealand