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

 
Howard Davis: Christopher Marlowe & 'The Tragedy Of Dr. Faustus'

Previous versions of 'The Devil's Pact' can be traced back to the fourth century, Marlowe deviated significantly by depicting his protagonist as unable to burn his books or repent to a merciful God in order to have his contract annulled... More>>

ALSO:

Gold For RNZ: Muslim Post-9/11 Series, Kim Hill Win In New York

The Radio New Zealand podcast series Public Enemy has won a gold award for excellence for its presenter, Mohamed Hassan, at the prestigious New York Festival Radio Awards announced in Manhattan today. RNZ National’s Saturday Morning host, Kim Hill, also received a gold award for Best Radio Personality. More>>

Human Rights Commission: Give Nothing To Racism

A campaign urging New Zealanders to give nothing to racism and refuse to spread intolerance has been launched by some of the country’s most well-known people. More>>

Louis Vuitton Series Win: Emirates Team NZ Will Challenge For The America’s Cup

By beating Artemis 5-2 they now take on Oracle Team USA in the America’s Cup match starting next weekend. More>>

ALSO:

Monterey: Rodger Fox Big Band Invited To Celebrated Festival

The Rodger Fox Big Band has received an invitation to perform at the 2017 Monterey 60th Anniversary Jazz Festival in the USA in September of this year. More>>

AntARTica: Scientist’s Painting Discovered In Antarctic Hut

The New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust has discovered an almost perfectly preserved 118 year old watercolour painting among penguin-excrement, dust and mould covered papers found in an historic hut at Cape Adare, Antarctica. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

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