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

 

Two newly funded treatments for prostate disease

1 October 2008


Two newly funded treatments for prostate diseases

PHARMAC is to begin funding treatments for two types of prostate disease in men - prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

From 1 October, finasteride (Fintral) will be funded for BPH, and from 1 November bicalutamide (Bicalox) will be funded for advanced prostate cancer.

Both prostate cancer and BPH are relatively common, particularly in men aged over 50. Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in New Zealand men and the third most common cause of male cancer deaths. Prostate cancer accounts for 3.8% of all male deaths in New Zealand; about three quarters of these deaths occur amongst men aged 75 years and older.

BPH is the most prevalent urological disease in men, and causes an enlarged prostate that can lead to very debilitating and painful symptoms for patients.

PHARMAC's Medical Director Dr Peter Moodie says: "Both these decisions introduce new funded treatments that increase the range of funded treatment options. We know that not everyone responds to all the current medication for various reasons, so increasing the options is a step forward for patients and doctors."

Both bicalutamide and finasteride are off-patent drugs that have been sourced through the PHARMAC tender at very competitive prices, says Dr Moodie. The price negotiated for bicalutamide, for example, is a tenth of that currently paid in the UK.

Bicalutamide is being funded under Special Authority for advanced prostate cancer. PHARMAC estimates that it could be used by about 160 people in the first year, rising to more than 300 by 2011.

Finasteride is being listed under Special Authority for men who are unable to be successfully treated with another group of drugs called alpha blockers. Up to 3000 men could be treated with finasteride each year, says Dr Moodie.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Kakī: World’s Rarest Wading Bird Released In Mackenzie Basin

Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says the birds will add to the 60 released into the Tasman valley earlier this month, significantly boosting the wild population. More>>

ALSO:

IHC Tribute: Colin Meads

"While Colin is best known for rugby, to us he is one of a small number of distinguished IHC New Zealand Life Members recognised for their significant support for people with intellectual disabilities," says IHC Chief Executive Ralph Jones. More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis Review: Tilting at Turbines - The Trip to Spain

Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon have now both broken the Big Fifty barrier, which seems to have brought a whole new level of angst to their midlife adventures ... More>>

Review: A Rose By Any Other Name Would Smell As Sweet

The Royal New Zealand Ballet has accepted the challenge of this heart-touching tragedy and largely succeeded. More>>

ALSO:

NZ's First Male IAAF Gold: Tom Walsh's Historic Shot Put Victory

Although feeling very sore but with a great feeling Tom Walsh took his place as number one on the victory dais to receive his much deserved gold medal. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Q&A: Hard To Find Books

"Unfortunately we are in crisis and this friendly dinosaur faces extinction… Our only hope is to try and raise funds to buy the building and restore it to its glory, either fully funded or with a viable deposit." More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland