Change is coming

Change is coming

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Pfizer New Zealand
Champix(r) changing to Varenicline Pfizer
The new rebranded packaging for Varenicline Pfizer

Thank you for helping New Zealanders attempt to quit smoking with Champix® (varenicline tartrate) over the past decade.

Change is now coming. From 12 December 2018, the Champix® brand will be replaced by Varenicline Pfizer (varenicline tartrate), and from 1 January 2019 Varenicline Pfizer will be fully funded.1

Champix® (varenicline tartrate) is changing

Champix® has been helping New Zealanders attempt to quit smoking over the past decade.2

Change is now coming.

From 12 December 2018, the Champix® brand name will be replaced by Varenicline Pfizer.1

This change will only affect New Zealand.

Along with the change in brand name, the packaging format will also be simplified.

The dosing regimen will remain unchanged. Please refer to the Data Sheet for full details.2

Funding coming in 2019

Varenicline Pfizer will be fully funded from 1 January 2019.1

Full subsidies are available for any remaining Champix® stock until 1 March 2019, after which reference pricing will apply until the Champix® brand is delisted on 1 June 2019.1

For further information please refer to the PHARMAC website available at:

Help your patients attempt to quit smoking with Varenicline Pfizer2


1. PHARMAC June 2018 Tender Notification available at (accessed October 2018)

2. Varenicline Pfizer Data Sheet


CHAMPIX® (varenicline tartrate) 0.5 mg and 1 mg tablets. 4.1 Therapeutic Indications: Aid to smoking cessation. 4.2 Dose and Method of Administration: Days 1-3: 0.5 mg once daily. Days 4-7: 0.5 mg twice daily. Day 8 - end of treatment: 1 mg twice daily. Patients should set a date to quit smoking and start dosing 1-2 weeks before this date. Alternatively, patients can start treatment and quit smoking between days 8 and 35 of treatment. Patients should be treated for 12 weeks. An additional 12 weeks of treatment can be considered for patients who have successfully stopped smoking at the end of 12 weeks. A gradual approach to quitting smoking should be considered for patients who are not willing/able to quit abruptly. Patients should reduce smoking during the first 12 weeks and quit by the end of that treatment period. Patients should then continue for an additional 12 weeks for a total of 24 weeks. Retreatment with varenicline is encouraged in patients who are motivated to quit and did not succeed with prior treatment or who relapsed. Dose tapering not required at end of treatment. Dose reduction is required for patients with severe renal impairment. Patients who cannot tolerate adverse effects may have the dose lowered temporarily or permanently. See Data Sheet for details. 4.3 Contraindications: Hypersensitivity to varenicline or excipients. 4.4 Special Warnings and Precautions for Use: history of, or, underlying psychiatric illness; neuropsychiatric symptoms including changes in behaviour or thinking, anxiety, psychosis, mood swings, agitation, aggression, depressed mood, suicidal ideation and suicidal behaviour; patients and families should be advised that the patient should stop taking CHAMPIX and contact a health care professional immediately if such symptoms are observed; patients and families should be alerted to the need to monitor for the possible emergence of neuropsychiatric symptoms; ongoing follow-up until resolution; seizures; hypersensitivity reactions; cardiovascular events; driving or operating machinery; alcohol consumption; pregnancy, lactation; severe renal impairment. See Data Sheet for details. 4.8 Undesirable Effects: Smoking cessation/nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Most common: nausea, headache, insomnia, nasopharyngitis, abnormal dreams, abdominal pain, dizziness, constipation, fatigue, diarrhoea, flatulence, vomiting, dyspepsia, dysgeusia, irritability, influenza, anxiety, dry mouth, sleep disorder, back pain, increased appetite, somnolence. Post-marketing reports of neuropsychiatric symptoms, myocardial infarction, stroke. See Data Sheet for details. 7. Medicine Schedule: Prescription Medicine; CHAMPIX is fully funded under Special Authority. Before prescribing please review Data Sheet available from MEDSAFE ( or Pfizer New Zealand Ltd ( or call 0800 736 363.®Registered trademark. V10417. ©Pfizer 2018. Pfizer New Zealand Limited, Level 1, Suite 1.4, Building B, 8 Nugent Street, Grafton, Auckland 1023, PO Box 3998, Auckland, New Zealand. Toll Free 0800 736 363. DA1815PB PP-CHM-NZL-0106 10/18 essence PF8915