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Minister will be watching drug trial results

Minister will be watching drug trial results with interest

The government will be keeping a close eye on results of trials of new prostate cancer drug abiraterone, Associate Health Minister Damien O’Connor said today.

Mr O’Connor said he was looking forward to keeping up with the results of the trials to be conducted for the drug, to see if it lives up to its initial promise.

He said the Ministry of Health's Cancer Control Strategy group is also establishing a "horizon scanning" function, to keep abreast of international developments in cancer care.

“This Labour-led government is committed to improving access and raising awareness of men’s health and we will certainly be keeping a close eye on all areas of men’s health,” said Mr O’Connor.

In June this year the government announced funding of almost $3 million to promote a greater awareness of men's health issues.

Initiatives and programmes in the package include: providing targeted men’s health checks at convenient times and locations supporting workplace based men’s health initiatives establishing a men’s health innovation fund to support community based men’s health initiatives developing a men’s health social marketing campaign improving access to good quality men’s health information by supporting existing websites, telephone health services and a range of information pamphlets

“We have also recently announced that we are fast-tracking a colorectal (bowel) cancer screening programme, in an effort to better diagnose and treat New Zealand's second-biggest cancer killer. This is important for men as they have a substantially higher mortality rate for colorectal cancer than women,” said Mr O’Connor.

"The latest New Zealand Health Survey shows that men are going to the doctor more than they used to, which is a good start. However, the Survey also shows men smoke and drink more than women, are less likely to eat healthily and are more likely to be overweight or Class One obese. We want to encourage men to be proactive in seeking healthcare,” said Mr O’Connor.


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