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Herceptin decision welcomed

Dr Jackie Blue
National Party Associate Health Spokeswoman

23 March 2006


Herceptin decision welcomed

National Party Associate Health spokeswoman Dr Jackie Blue has welcomed Medsafe’s decision to provisionally approve the drug Herceptin for use in early breast cancer.

“Herceptin will now be referred directly to Pharmac's cancer sub-committee, scheduled to meet in April, and then back to Pharmac's Advisory Board for a final recommendation when it meets in May,” says Dr Blue.

“The next step in the process is that approval will be sought from the 21 District Health Board CEOs, who have to agree to fund new drugs.

“The DHB chiefs’ meeting is in June and I am concerned that the CEOs may be put in the impossible situation of trying to prioritise and divide limited financial resources even further.

“We could see a situation where patient groups are pitted against each other for drug funding.

"I sincerely hope the Government can ensure there is enough money in the cancer drug budget to avoid this situation,” says Dr Blue.

ENDS

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