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PHARMAC, Schering-Plough reach agreement

2 March 2006

PHARMAC, Schering-Plough reach agreement for temozolomide

PHARMAC and Schering-Plough have reached a provisional agreement for funding of the brain tumour treatment temozolomide (Temodal).

The agreement, which is subject to a two-week consultation period and PHARMAC Board approval, would see temozolomide funded for newly diagnosed glioblastoma patients from 1 May 2006.

PHARMAC Medical Director Dr Peter Moodie says the provisional agreement with Schering-Plough is great news for patients and reflects the high priority both PHARMAC and Schering-Plough have placed on temozolomide.

"We recognise that this treatment represents an advance on currently available therapies for glioblastomas, and have moved quickly to progress our process for considering temozolomide," Dr Moodie says.

"The advice we had from our expert advisory committee PTAC was that temozolomide should have a high priority for funding. We are also aware that this was something patients and clinicians wanted to have available, so we are delighted to be able to go out to consultation on this agreement."

The proposal PHARMAC is consulting on would see temozolomide funded for newly-diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme patients who were undergoing radiotherapy. Funded access would also continue post-radiotherapy, for up to six cycles of treatment.

PHARMAC is asking for feedback on the proposal by 5pm on 16 March 2006.

ENDS

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