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

 


PHARMAC steps up to help meet Government cancer treatment g

7 December 2012

Media release

PHARMAC steps up to help meet Government cancer treatment goal

Recent decisions by PHARMAC will have a positive effect on cancer treatment in New Zealand.

PHARMAC has removed the Special Authority funding requirements from seven cancer treatments, and from the diabetes treatment pioglitazone. Special Authorities define the clinical criteria patients must meet to receive some funded medicines. Clinicians must complete a Special Authority application and receive approval before prescribing in order for the patient to receive the funded medicine.

PHARMAC’s medical director Dr Peter Moodie, says the lifting of these funding restrictions is a positive step.

“Removing the Special Authorities from these cancer treatments will significantly reduce administrative demands on the hospital oncologists and haematologists who routinely prescribe these drugs,” says Dr Moodie.

“In addition, one of the medicines being de-restricted is capecitabine, a tablet which can be used in place of 5-flourouracil, a chemotherapy infusion that patients need to receive in hospitals or special treatment centres. Patients prescribed capecitabine will have a more convenient treatment option which they can take at home and this is particularly helpful for rural people and reduces their costs of receiving treatment.

“Removing the Special Authority restrictions will also free up hospital resources that can be used to treat more patients overall, which will help DHBs achieve the Government health priority to reduce cancer treatment waiting times.”

The medicines having Special Authority funding requirements removed are:

o Anagrelide hydrochloride – primarily used to treat thrombothycaemia (overproduction of platelets)

o Gemcitabine hydrochloride - used to treat a variety of cancers including bladder, breast, pancreas, lymphoma, lung and ovarian cancer.

o Irinotecan - primarily used to treat bowel and pancreatic cancer.

o Oxaliplatin - primarily used to treat bowel, pancreas and stomach cancer.

o Vinorelbine - primarily used to treat lymphoma, lung and breast cancer

o Capecitabine – primarily used to treat breast, bowel and stomach cancer

o Octreotide – primarily used in cancer for endocrine tumours and for palliation of symptoms in patients with malignant bowel obstruction.

Overall, removing the Special Authorities from these medicines will reduce the number of applications by about 4000 per year.

The Special Authorities were removed from these treatments from 1 December 2012 meaning that they are now fully funded by DHBs for any cancer patients. In addition, capecitabine is funded for any patient in the community when prescribed by a specialist.

Dr Moodie says that making access easier, such as by removing Special Authorities, usually results in more patients being prescribed the treatment.

“Effectively, this means we are giving doctors treating cancer greater discretion in how they choose to treat their patients, in the knowledge that it will be funded for them.”

Pioglitazone is a treatment that increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin, and is mainly used to treat Type 2 diabetes.

As with the cancer treatments, the Special Authority on pioglitazone was removed from 1 December.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

RLWC 2017 Draw: New Zealand Set For A Festival Of Rugby League

New Zealand Rugby League fans will have the chance to see the Kiwis in action against the best in the Pacific region for the Rugby League World Cup 2017, as announced today at the Official Tournament Draw. More>>

ALSO:

Non-Pokemon News: Magical Park A Safer Augmented Reality For Younger Audiences

Since May, Wellington City Council has been trialling a new app, Magical Park, in collaboration with the game’s New Zealand developer Geo AR Games, in parks around the city. Magical Park uses GPS technology to get users moving around the park to play within a set boundary. More>>

'Erroneous': Pokemon App Makers On Huge Privacy Flaw

We recently discovered that the Pokémon Go account creation process on iOS erroneously requests full access permission for the user's Google account... More>>

ALSO:

Te Wiki O Te Reo: Te Reo Māori Is For All New Zealanders — Minister

Minister for Māori Development Te Ururoa Flavell welcomes the start of Māori Language Week today and invites all New Zealanders to give speaking te reo Māori a go. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news