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PHARMAC says more medicines on the way

PHARMAC says more medicines on the way

PHARMAC has reached a deal with pharmaceutical companies for three new medicines to treat ovarian cancer, breast cancer and leukaemia.

“The $60 million boost means we can make real inroads into funding medicines on our priority list. This is great news for New Zealanders,” says PHARMAC Board Chair Steve Maharey.

Consultation has gone out today on proposals to fund three new cancer medicines. The new medicines are olaparib (Lynparza) for ovarian cancer, fulvestrant (Faslodex) for breast cancer and venetoclax (Venclexta) for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.

PHARMAC is also proposing to make two long acting contraceptives (Mirena and Jaydess) available to more people. It also proposes that the meningococcal ACWY vaccine (Menactra) be free for people in close living situations such as university hostels and army barracks.

Nearly 60,000 New Zealanders could benefit from these medicines in the first year.

If the feedback from the consultation is positive, patients could be prescribed some of these medicines from November this year.

PHARMAC is also looking to get the best deal for New Zealanders for a medicine for a particular type of advanced breast cancer.

There are two registered medicines in New Zealand that clinical experts believe would be suitable. One of these is palbociclib (Ibrance) and the other is ribociclib (Kisqali). PHARMAC has issued a request for proposals and one of these medicines could be available from April next year.

“PHARMAC’s role is to make more medicines available to more New Zealanders to help them live healthy lives,” says Mr Maharey.

“This extra funding has taken the annual medicines budget to over $1 billion. We are working our way down our medicine priority list. These new medicines are just the beginning – more is on the way.”


Click here to view the consultation documents.

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