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Herceptin given full consideration by PTAC

25 May 2006

Herceptin given full consideration by PTAC

The Pharmacology and Therapeutics Advisory Committee today considered further clinical evidence on the use of trastuzumab (Herceptin) for early breast cancer.

PHARMAC spokesperson Dr Dilky Rasiah says today’s PTAC meeting was another step in the assessment of Herceptin, which is being considered for funding. PTAC will make a recommendation to PHARMAC once the minute is finalised, in about two weeks.

Initial indications were that Herceptin, a hospital drug funded by District Health Board hospitals, would cost DHBs an additional $30 million per year, although PHARMAC is working with the supplier of Herceptin, Roche, to make it more affordable.

“The next step is to take the PTAC advice into account when PHARMAC makes its recommendation to District Health Boards,” Dr Rasiah says. “We still have to complete our work with the PTAC advice in mind, and continue our negotiations with Roche, before taking a recommendation to DHBs.”

Dr Rasiah says PHARMAC may also seek further advice from PTAC.

Dr Rasiah says that while PHARMAC has responsibility for deciding which community pharmaceuticals are subsidised, hospital cancer drugs such as Herceptin require approval by all District Health Boards.

- December 2005: PHARMAC receives application from Roche to fund Herceptin for early breast cancer.

- 18 February 2006: The Pharmacology and Therapeutics Advisory Committee (PTAC) considers application for early breast cancer. PTAC recommends further information be sought from Roche and for Herceptin to be considered by the cancer treatments sub-committee, should Herceptin be approved by Medsafe.

- 23 March 2006: Medsafe grants provisional consent to Herceptin

- March 2006: PHARMAC receives additional information from Roche
- March-May 2006: Cost-utility analysis undertaken
- April 2006: Cancer Treatments Sub-Committee holds teleconference
- April -June 2006: Formal negotiations occur with Roche regarding supply terms and pricing
- 25 May 2006: CaTSOP recommendation considered by PTAC
- June 2006: Recommendation considered by DHB CEOs
- June/July 2006: Decision by PHARMAC Board


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