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Cancer patients gain in Roche’s new multi-medicine agreement


December 5, 2016

Cancer patients gain in Roche’s new multi-medicine agreement with Pharmac

Cancer patients are among those who will benefit from an innovative multi-medicine funding agreement between Pharmac and Roche Products (NZ), announced today. More than 2,000 New Zealand patients, most with life-threatening illnesses, are expected to benefit over five years from the new agreement.

Roche and Pharmac have worked together to fund three new treatments, and to widen access to three existing medicines for seven new conditions from January 1, 2017. This wide-ranging agreement is the first of its kind for Roche in NZ.

Three new treatments supplied by Roche will be funded: obinutuzumab (Gazyva®) for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia; pertuzumab (Perjeta®) for metastatic breast cancer; and pirfenidone (Esbriet®) for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

In addition, Pharmac will widen access to three currently funded treatments for seven new conditions: rituximab (Mabthera®), dornase alfa (Pulmozyme®) and tocilizumab (Actemra®). Roche and Pharmac have also agreed amended contractual terms for dornase alfa, rituximab, tocilizumab, trastuzumab (Herceptin®), and erlotinib (Tarceva®).

“We are really pleased to have worked successfully with Pharmac in ensuring rapid access to a range of innovative treatments. These medicines will deliver better health outcomes for more New Zealanders within Pharmac’s current available funding,” says Roche NZ general manager, Dr Dan Thurley.

Dr Thurley says Roche opted for a multi-medicine proposal because its wide portfolio of medicines gave it innovative options in satisfying Pharmac’s goals.

“We want to bring patients the benefits of innovative medicines as quickly as possible. Because both parties took a positive and open approach, this agreement was reached in nine months. This included four weeks of stakeholder consultation.

“We are particularly pleased that this agreement delivers a breadth of medicines to cover a wide range of diseases and patient needs.

“In the case of Esbriet, Pharmac has taken the initiative in funding it here before it is funded in Australia.”

Dr Thurley says that Roche is also pleased that Perjeta will now be funded for more than 900 women with metastatic breast cancer over five years. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women and leads to more than 600 deaths every year.

“We know from the public consultation that Perjeta is something that women, their families and their specialists want to be publicly funded.

“The inclusion of Gazyva in the package is also exciting because it will be the first targeted medicine especially for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia patients who also have other health conditions.

“We look forward to working with Pharmac in the future to ensure New Zealand patients get innovative medicines as quickly as possible.”


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