Limited Coverage Drugs - Zanamivir

Generic Name

zanamivir
Strength 5 mg Rotadisk

Form

oral inhalation

Special Authority Criteria

Approval Period

For the treatment and prophylaxis of influenza A and B during an outbreak situation among permanent residents of licensed residential care facilities (i.e., PharmaCare Plan B).

A 5-day treatment course or up to a 28-day preventive course during the influenza season.

For the treatment of patients at high risk* of complications from influenza infection, who have either:

  1. Laboratory-confirmed influenza A or B sensitive to zanamivir

OR

  1. Signs and symptoms of influenza A or B only when influenza is confirmed to be circulating in the local community and sensitive to zanamivir, as per the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control influenza bulletin at www.bccdc.ca/dis-cond/DiseaseStatsReports/influSurveillanceReports.htm.

AND

Initiation of treatment should be within 48 hours of symptom onset to optimize the benefits of zanamivir.

Notes:

*Patients at high risk of complications from influenza are defined as follows:

  • Adults ≥ 65 years of age, with or without chronic health conditions;
  • Adults (including pregnant women) less than 65 years of age, and children and adolescents 6 months to 18 years with the following chronic health conditions:
    • Cardiac or pulmonary disorders (e.g., chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, cystic fibrosis, asthma);
    • Diabetes and other metabolic diseases;
    • Cancer, immunodeficiency (including human immunodeficiency virus [HIV] infection), immunosuppression due to underlying disease or therapy (e.g., severe rheumatoid arthritis requiring immunosuppressive therapies, transplant);
    • Chronic kidney disease;
    • Chronic liver disease, including hepatitis C;
    • Anemia and hemoglobinopathy;
    • Conditions that compromise the management of respiratory secretions and are associated with an increased risk of aspiration (e.g., cognitive dysfunction, spinal cord injury, seizure disorder, and neuromuscular disorders);
  • Children and adolescents 6 months to 18 years with conditions treated for long periods with acetylsalicylic acid;
  • Adults who are morbidly obese (BMI ≥ 40);
  • Healthy children 6 months to 59 months of age;
  • Pregnant women;
  • Aboriginal peoples (on and off reserve).
A 5-day treatment course during the influenza season.

Practitioner Exemptions

  • None

Special Notes

  1. Prescribers do not need to submit a Special Authority Request for this coverage. Patients who do not meet the Limited Coverage criteria are not eligible for PharmaCare coverage of the prescription. Patients requesting a “pre-fill” prescription for oseltamivir or zanamivir are responsible for the cost. When writing a prescription for patients who do not meet the criteria, physicians should write “Submit as zero cost to PharmaCare” on prescriptions. When submitting a claim for a prescription with this note, pharmacists should use the intervention code DE Adjudicate to $0.00 as requested. This ensures appropriate PharmaCare coverage.
  2. PharmaCare coverage is intended for antiviral treatment that is initiated within 48 hours of influenza symptom onset in the community setting. Evidence suggests that early treatment leads to optimal outcomes (Treanor JJ et al., JAMA 2000; 283: 1016-1024 and Nicholson KG et al. Lancet 2000; 355: 1845-1850).
  3. Due to the risk of inappropriate utilization leading to antiviral resistance, clinicians are advised to be selective and judicious in their assessment of patients. Clinicians are advised to check the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control influenza bulletin (updated regularly) at www.bccdc.ca/dis-cond/DiseaseStatsReports/influSurveillanceReports.htm for the most recent information on circulating influenza strains and resistance patterns.
  4. PharmaCare coverage is not intended for patients who do not have symptoms of Influenza A or B, nor for post-exposure prophylaxis.
  5. Influenza immunization is one of the most effective methods for preventing influenza infection and its complications, and should be promoted to the entire population whenever possible. Patients at high risk for complications from influenza should be immunized annually.
  6. Zanamivir is indicated for patients 7 years of age or older who are able to use the inhalation device.

Special Authority Request Form(s)

  • None