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Science Alert: Experts Respond

Keytruda decision hasn’t addressed drug-funding problems – Expert reaction

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on August 19th, 2016.

New Zealand has one of the highest rates of melanoma in the world but lags in funding novel drugs that show promise in treating the disease, according to a new study. The study, published today in the New Zealand Medical Journal, outlines the clinical information on new melanoma treatments and compares the funding programmes in […]

Pharmac confirms funding for melanoma drug – In the News

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on August 3rd, 2016.

Drug-buying agency Pharmac officially announced funding for the melanoma treatment Keytruda on Tuesday. It followed a provisional decision in June to fund the drug and funding for the alternate Opdivo (nivolumab). Pharmac had previously said it had received mixed advice on the long-term benefits of Keytruda (pembrolizumab), but operations director Sarah Fitt said new evidence […]

PHARMAC needs funding boost – Dr Francis Hunter

John Kerr posted in on March 7th, 2016.

Writing on Stuff.co.nz* the University of Auckland’s Dr Francis Hunter outlines the situation PHARMAC and the Government face over the melanoma drug Keytruda. An excerpt (read in full here): ‘Real, urgent’ plight for melanoma patients hoping for better Keytruda funding Pharmac’s assignment of a low-funding priority to pembrolizumab (Keytruda) for advanced melanoma has brought cancer drug […]

Push for Keytruda funding – Expert reaction

John Kerr posted in on March 1st, 2016.

Public pressure is growing for the Government to fund the melanoma drug Keytruda, listed as ‘low priority’ by drug funding agency PHARMAC. A petition of over 45,000 signatures, calling for the drug to be funded through PHARMAC, is due to be presented to Health Minister Jonathan Coleman on the steps of parliament today. Speaking to […]

PHARMAC not to fund melanoma drug – In the News

John Kerr posted in on December 3rd, 2015.

PHARMAC’s decision not to fund melanoma treatment pembrolizumab – marketed as Keytruda – has been widely covered in the media. Public pressure to fund the drug  increased in September this year following coverage of impressive recoveries attributed to the treatment, and registration of the drug with MedSafe. However according to PHARMAC’s analysis of the available evidence, […]

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