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

 


Two new treatments funded for blood disorders and cancers

Media release

Two new treatments funded for blood disorders and cancers

20 August, 2014

Up to 400 patients a year are likely to live longer as a result of PHARMAC funding two new medicines.

The medicines are azacitidine (Vidaza) and lenalidomide (Revlimid), which will be funded from 1 September.

Azacitidine is being funded for a group of blood disorders collectively known as myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), and for two types of leukaemia (chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia and
MDS-associated acute myeloid leukaemia).

Lenalidomide will be funded for multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer. It will be an alternative to the currently funded treatments bortezomib and thalidomide, and funded for use in patients
if these treatments fail.

Director of Operations Sarah Fitt says both new medicines have proven effectiveness and should lead to patients living longer. They are important additions to the tools that haematologists will
have to treat multiple myeloma, leukaemia and MDS.

“Clinical trials of azacitidine showed it nearly doubles the survival rate of people with MDS, compared to conventional treatment,” she says. “This is a significant improvement for this patient group,
who have had limited treatment options.

“In the case of lenalidomide, the aim of treatment is to delay disease progression and also to prolong life. The trials show that lenalidomide is effective in patients whose disease has progressed
after receiving previous treatments.”

Sarah Fitt says another benefit of lenalidomide is that it doesn’t have some of the side effects of the other funded treatments, which can be debilitating for patients. Bortezomib and thalidomide can
cause peripheral neuropathy, a condition that causes tingling, numbness and pain in hands and feet.

“So, as well as being an effective treatment, lenalidomide is less likely to cause debilitating peripheral neuropathy than the currently available treatments, so it may be a better treatment option for
some patients.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Memorabilia: Te Papa Buys Peter Snell Singlet

Te Papa has purchased the singlet worn by Peter Snell at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics at an auction this morning at Cordy’s auction house in Auckland. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Women At The Centre

In the first chapter of her epic History of New Zealand Women, Barbara Brookes places a version of the Māori creation story alongside that of the Pākehā colonists, setting the scene for how each society saw women. The contrast is startling. More>>

In Auckland Art Gallery: A Tour Of Duty

I had already started my journey through the exhibited collections when an audio announcement about a guided tour to embark shortly from the foyer was made, I decided to join in. Why not? More>>

Art: ‘Holiday’ Wins IHC Art Awards

An intricate embroidered cushion by Wellington artist Jo-Anne Tapiki has won the 2016 IHC Art Awards and $5000. Jo-Anne started working from IHC’s Arts on High studio in Lower Hutt 18 months ago and this is the first time she has entered the competition. More>>

‘Quasi’: Christchurch Art Gallery Reveals Rooftop Sculpture

Christchurch-born and internationally renowned artist Ronnie van Hout has had a huge hand in Christchurch Art Gallery's latest outdoor installation. More>>

Obituary: Last 28th Maori Battalion A Company Veteran Dies

Charlie Petera, the final surviving member of A-Company of the 28th Maori Battalion has died at his home in Ngataki, Northland last night surrounded by his whanau. He was 91 years old. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news