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

 

With Hunters & Collectors: The Rolling Stones Announce New Auckland Date

It’s the news New Zealand has been waiting for. The Rolling Stones today confirmed the rescheduled dates and venues for both the Australian and New Zealand legs of their highly anticipated ’14 On Fire’ tour. Now, Frontier Touring is also delighted ... More>>

ALSO:

Flying Things: Conchords, Pretties Help BATS Fly Home

The launch of BATS theatre’s fundraising campaign has taken off – with a bit of help from their friends. And with friends like theirs… An event last night hosted by Te Radar at Wellington’s latest waterfront venue, Shed 6, featured Fly My Pretties and, in a dream-come-true scenario, Flight of the Conchords. More>>

ALSO:

Environment: Zoo’s Own Wētā Workshop Produces Rare Giants For Release

Following unprecedented breeding and rearing success, Auckland Zoo is today releasing 150 of New Zealand’s largest giant wētā, the wētā punga, onto pest-free Motuora Island in the Hauraki Gulf. A further 150 will be released onto Tiritiri Matangi next month. More>>

Girls On Film: Divergent Hits The Big Screen

n January, Catching Fire (the second film in the Hunger Games series) not only became the biggest US box office success of 2013 : it also became the first film starring a female actor (ie. Jennifer Lawrence) to top the annual domestic earnings chart since The Exorcist, 40 years ago. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: No Travel Sanctions For Russian Billionaire’s Superyacht

On the same day that New Zealand announced travel sanctions against selected Russians, a Russian billionaire’s superyacht berthed in Wellington Harbour. More>>

ALSO:

Mental Health: UC Researchers Believe Robots Can Persuade People To Conform

A team of University of Canterbury (UC) researchers and scientists believe robots can persuade people to conform through group pressure... ``Our results showed that robots can induce conformity but to a significantly lesser degree than humans." More>>

NZ On Air: Local Content Holds Steady At 32% Of Television Schedules

Since 1989 NZ On Air has measured local free-to-air television content. The report compares the schedules of the six national free-to-air channels, to observe trends and changes in the local content landscape. More>>

Arts Fest: 2014 New Zealand Festival A Spectacular Celebration

The New Zealand Festival welcomed the world to Wellington over 24 days (21 Feb – 16 Mar) of arts events across the city. “[current figures show] slight increase on the 110,000 tickets issued in 2012. It’s a great result.” More>>

Opera: Happy 70th Birthday Dame Kiri Te Kanawa

Our first lady of song who “feels more like at 15 year old” will celebrate her significant birthday on stage at Covent Garden tomorrow night (Friday morning NZT), performing in the Royal Opera House’s production of La fille du régiment (The Daughter of the Regiment) as La Duchess de Crackentorp. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news