Fuseworks Media

‘It’s time to talk testosterone as PHARMAC funding of Testogel begins’

New Zealand-owned healthcare company Pharmaco (N.Z.) Ltd has welcomed the start of PHARMAC funding of testosterone gel product Testogel yesterday, 1st April 2024.

As of 1 April 2024, Testogel has been listed on the Pharmaceutical Schedule without funding restrictions. This means that Testogel will be the only funded brand of testosterone gel in the community and Te Whatu Ora hospitals.

Testogel is used in adult men for testosterone replacement to treat various health problems caused by a lack of testosterone, also known as male hypogonadism. Testogel is a gel that can be simply applied to the skin of the upper arm and shoulders, unlike some other currently funded treatment types, that also include injections, patches, and tablets.

Clinical symptoms of low testosterone include impotence, infertility, low sex drive, tiredness, depressive moods, and bone loss caused by low hormone levels.1 Over time, although symptoms vary from person to person, low testosterone may cause a man to lose body hair, muscle bulk, and weak bones. Low testosterone has higher prevalence in older men, obese men, and men with Type 2 diabetes. 3 There are approximately 150,000 men in New Zealand who live with Type 2 diabetes.4

Dr. Ryan Paul, a leading endocrinologist at Waikato Hospital and member of the NZ Society Of Endocrinology, welcomes the widening of funding, saying: ‘Having another alternative that does not require the need to travel for testosterone injections (for example), as well as the pain and cost of them, is important in providing options that can be best matched to an individual’s circumstances. Wider funding also contributes to achieving more equitable outcomes for men with low testosterone.’

Chandra Selvadurai, Managing Director of Pharmaco (NZ) Limited, says that now might be a good time for men to ask their doctor about their testosterone levels. “Testogel funding means that now is the time for us to say, ‘Lets’ talk testosterone deficiency’. Men are generally terrible at discussing their health, and many men don’t understand the symptoms associated with possible testosterone deficiency, so now is the time to chat about it.

“Now that Testogel is funded, also removing the obstacle of cost from the equation, the question we now ask Kiwi men is: Is it time to get your testosterone checked? All it requires is a visit to your GP and blood testing to confirm if you have symptoms of low testosterone.”