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Wider access to brain tumour drug needed

Dr Jackie Blue
National Party Associate Health Spokeswoman

6 March 2006

Wider access to brain tumour drug needed

National Party Associate Health spokeswoman Dr Jackie Blue is calling for wider access to the brain tumour drug Temozolomide.

Last week, Pharmac announced a provisional agreement with drug company Schering-Plough for funding Temozolomide for newly diagnosed brain tumour patients only.

"The patients who have a recurrence of their tumour miss out. This seems grossly unfair when internationally this drug is the standard of care for this group, “ says Dr Blue.

“The early trials of Temozolomide were done only in recurrent patients. If it were not for these trials, the more recent trials with newly diagnosed patients would never have eventuated.

"New Zealand's proposed access to Temozolomide for only newly diagnosed patients is at odds with Australia, Canada, the United States, the European Union, which has approved this drug for both groups, and the United Kingdom, which has approved it only for recurrent patients,” says Dr Blue.


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