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

 

Music: Lorde NZ Tour Confirmed In Four Major Cities!

In what will be her first ever New Zealand headline tour, Frontier Touring and Brent Eccles Entertainment are stoked to bring you four epic shows across the country! The all ages concerts take place late October/ early November in Christchurch, Dunedin, Wellington and Auckland. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Poor Economics

A review of and excerpt from Jonathan Boston and Simon Chapple’s Child Poverty in New Zealand. More>>

Head Count: Highest Population Growth Since 2003

The country’s population grew by 67,800 people, or 1.5 percent, in the year to 30 June 2014. This came from natural increase (births minus deaths) of 29,500 and net migration (arrivals minus departures) of 38,300. New Zealand's estimated resident population was 4.51 million at 30 June 2014. More>>

Fun-Enhancement: Research To Ensure Even Game For Less Skilled Players

A University of Canterbury engineering PhD student is researching sports, such as table tennis, to ensure closer games for both better and less skilled players. More>>

Werewolf: From The Lost Continent

It’s a case of better late than never for Olivier Assayas’ marvellous After May/Apres Mai, which first screened at Venice in 2012, got a theatrical release in Australia – but not here – and only now appears on DVD, after Assayas himself has moved on. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: Blue Eyed & Soulful

Last year’s Muscle Shoals documentary was a reminder that on some of soul music’s most hallowed tracks, the studio band consisted of a bunch of white guys from rural Alabama... More>>

ALSO:

Final Event - Number Crunching: NZ Fifth Best Performer At Commonwealth Games

With a haul of 45 medals, New Zealand has outperformed the best predictions of the world’s number crunchers by 440% and beaten our past performance at the Commonwealth Games by 11% per cent, according to a Massey University finance lecturer. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news