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Herceptin decision: Women let down

Jackie Blue MP
National Party Associate Health Spokeswoman

7 August 2008

Herceptin decision: Women let down

"Women with aggressive Her-2 breast cancer have been cruelly let down by the refusal of the Government's drug-buying agency to extend funding to 12 months of Herceptin," says National's Associate Health spokeswoman, Jackie Blue.

"The High Court directed review of Pharmac's decision not to fund 12 months was a real chance for Pharmac to reconsider, re-consult, and to take their blinkers off.

"The sheer weight of evidence supporting 12 months is overwhelming.

"Cancer specialist groups and even Pharmac's own cancer specialist committee backed the 12-month course.

"Even Medsafe refused to register the nine-week Herceptin course due to a lack of clinical evidence."

Dr Blue, a former breast physician, says 33 countries now fund 12 months Herceptin as the standard of care.

"It's totally incomprehensible that the Government's drug-buying agency is persisting with this sub-optimal and unproven nine-week course."

Dr Blue can confirm that a National Government will free up funds to fund the full 12-month Herceptin programme.

"Women with breast cancer need certainty and reassurance that they will have access to the international standard of care that will give them the best chance of beating this disease."

ENDS


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