News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


PHARMAC agrees funding for brain tumour treatment

Media release

PHARMAC agrees funding for brain tumour treatment

A new treatment for people with an aggressive form of brain tumour is to become fully subsidised from 1 May 2006.

Funding for temozolomide (Temodal) has been approved by PHARMAC for patients who are undergoing radiotherapy, and for a further six cycles of treatment following radiotherapy. Funding will be for newly diagnosed patients, and for those patients who may have already commenced treatment before 1 May 2006, and is anticipated to cost $6.5 million over five years.

About 100 patients per year are expected to receive funded access.

PHARMAC Medical Director Dr Peter Moodie says for those patients diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, the most aggressive form of brain tumour, temozolomide offers a beneficial treatment that can extend their life expectancy.

“The evidence shows that this is a treatment that can extend life, and we are pleased to be able to fund it,” Dr Moodie says.

“PHARMAC and its expert clinical committees looked very carefully at the evidence. It shows that temozolomide can make a difference for patients who have temozolomide with radiotherapy in the early stages after diagnosis, and this is why it is those patients who will receive funding.”

Though analysis shows that temozolomide is less cost-effective than some other medicines PHARMAC is looking at funding, the listing is justified on other grounds such as the limited treatment options for brain tumour patients.

Funding does not extend to patients with relapsed glioblastomas, however PHARMAC remains open to the possibility of funding temozolomide for relapsed patients should new evidence become available.

Dr Moodie acknowledged the co-operation of temozolomide’s supplier Schering-Plough, which had worked constructively with PHARMAC to move quickly through the application, assessment and subsidy process.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Reuben Moss' Property is Theft! & Kaitani at The Physics Room

Property is Theft! continues Moss’ interest in the contemporary urban environment as a space controlled by pulsing and unequal flows of capital and labour. Kaitani features work by the University of Canterbury Fijian Students Association and Kulimoe’anga Stone Maka. More>>

Handcrafted Form: Rare Treasures From Japan

This unique exhibition at Expressions Whirinaki represents 90 everyday objects made by contemporary Japanese artisans who employ various traditional craft techniques made in regional workshops. The works used in daily life are crafted from raw materials with techniques appropriate to bringing out the best of its medium, balancing ease of use with aesthetic appeal. More>>

Howard Davis Article: A Musical Axis - Brahms, Wagner, Sibelius

Brahms' warm and exquisitely subtle Symphony No. 3 in F major, Wagner's irrepressibly sentimental symphonic poem Siegfried Idyll, and Sibelius' chilling and immensely challenging Violin Concerto in D minor exemplify distinct stages of development in a tangled and convoluted series of skirmishes that came to define subsequent disputes about the nature of post-Romantic orchestral writing well into the following century. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: A Pale Ghost Writer

Reviewed by Ruth Brassington, Richard Flanagan's new novel is about a novelist hastily ghost-writing the biography of a crook about to go to trial. The reader is kept on a cliff-edge, as the narrator tries to get blood out of his stone man. More>>

New Zealand Wars Commemoration: Witi Ihimaera's Sleeps Standing Moetū

The second of several articles to mark Rā Maumahara, remembering the New Zealand Land Wars. The first was a Q&A with Vincent O’Malley, author of The Great War for New Zealand: Waikato 1800–2000. More>>




  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland