Allergy New Zealand and Pub Charity have relaunched the successful FundaPen campaign to deliver 3,355 free lifesaving EpiPen® auto-injectors to patients who have a doctor-diagnosed allergy and are at risk of anaphylaxis.
The FundaPen2 initiative follows the first campaign in 2019, which saw nearly 3,000 New Zealanders receive a free EpiPen® (adrenaline autoinjector).
Allergy New Zealand Chief Executive Mark Dixon says, “The lifechanging campaign was wholeheartedly supported by medical professionals and members of the allergy community, who have been calling for a repeat of it, since it came to an end in 2020”.
Pub Charity CEO Martin Cheer says, “Pub Charity is proud to support the FundaPen2 initiative. We know from past experience, what a positive contribution it can make to the lives of people with severe allergies, particularly those on low incomes.”
Lifesaving EpiPens® which last only 12 – 18 months, are not currently funded by PHARMAC and can cost between $120 and $350 each. In the last 17 years, Allergy New Zealand has made eight submissions to have EpiPen® auto-injectors publicly funded through PHARMAC.
The FundaPen2 campaign has been made possible thanks to a generous $350,000 donation from Pub Charity to Allergy New Zealand. The national charity will purchase 3,355 EpiPen® auto-injectors from Queenstown Pharmacy, which are sourced from New Zealand supplier, Viatris Ltd.
Mark Dixon says the return of FundaPen2 will help address a significant need for New Zealanders at risk of anaphylaxis, whose families/whānau struggle to buy an EpiPen®. “We received so much support for FundaPen from prescribers and the allergy community, our Facebook page received more than 100,000 hits in the first 24 hours, following the first public launch,” he says.
“In Australia, people who are at risk of anaphylaxis, are now eligible for two funded adrenaline auto-injectors each year. In this country, none are funded, and the speed at which the free EpiPens® were taken up under FundaPen demonstrates to us that there is significant unmet need.”
Through the original FundaPen campaign, which was made possible due to a $300,000 Pub Charity donation, Allergy New Zealand was able to reach people who were least able to afford this lifesaving medicine. A total of 2,875 EpiPens® were distributed between November 2019 and August 2020.
“We continue to actively campaign that EpiPens® should be publicly funded, as they are in Australia,” Mark says.
For more than 40 years, Allergy New Zealand has been improving the quality of life of New Zealanders living with allergies, by providing evidence-based information and support. Allergy New Zealand receives no Government funding and will not receive any financial benefit from the Pub Charity donation.
Qualifying patients will be eligible for FundaPen2 from Wednesday 9 February 2022 until supplies run out.
FundaPen2™ THE FACTS