1 June 2021: OIA response | Cancer medicines funded in the past 10 years

1 June 2021: OIA response | Cancer medicines funded in the past 10 years 

Dear [name and contact details withheld] 

REQUEST FOR INFORMATION

Thank you for your request dated 8 April 2021 under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA) for information relating to the number of new cancer medicines funded in the past 10 years. You requested: 

The number of new cancer medicines funded in the past 10 years (both number of new individual drugs and perhaps number of extra patients treated) …ideally numbers + a graphic illustration. 

New medicines for cancer approved would be OK if that is easier, widened would be helpful but not essential. 

Please see the table below which details all the investment decisions for cancer medicines made from 1 July 2010 to 31 March 2021. Note that the number of new patients is estimated based on the number of people likely to access the medicines in the first financial year[1] (FYR) of funding (from the implementation month to the end of the financial year in which the medicines were first funded). The actual numbers of patients treated will likely differ from the estimates and be greater in the years after funding was first implemented. 

From 1 July 2010 to 31 March 2021, PHARMAC has funded 52 cancer medicines (widened access and new listings). Of these medicines, the total estimated number of new patients treated in the first FYR of funding was 6,547. 

Additionally, PHARMAC funded the human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV) from January 2017 for the prevention of premalignant genital (cervical, vulvar and vaginal) and anal lesions (item 20 in the below table). The estimated number of new patients treated in the first financial year of funding was 25,000. 

Please note, we are unable to provide a graphic illustration as requested as we do not currently hold any graphics relating to this specific information. Therefore, we have declined your request for a graphic illustration on the basis that the information is not held by PHARMAC (section 18(g)(i) of the OIA). 

However, some graphics related to funding cancer medicines can be found in our Year in Review 2019/20 report and other past Year in Review documents which are published to our website: www.pharmac.govt.nz > About What we do > Accountability information > Year in Review 

We trust that this information answers your queries. We are making our information more freely available, so we now publish selected OIA responses (excluding personal details) on our website. Please get in touch with us if you have any questions about this. 

Yours sincerely

Rachel Read
Manager, Policy and Government Services

Table: Investment decisions for cancer medicines made from 1 July 2010 to 31 March 2021*

Investment decisions are classified as access widening (AW)** or new listings (NL)*** 

* Excludes temporary access widenings due to COVID-19 or discontinuations of previously funded treatments.

**Changes in access criteria for existing funded medicines, making them more accessible and/or available for a wider patient population(s).

***Any medicine not currently listed on the Schedule and any new presentations (ie tablet, infusion, injection) that represent a significant shift in treatment options for patients. 

#

Pharmaceutical

Used to treat

Decision type

Implementation month

Estimated # new patients in first FYR of funding

1

Febuxostat

Prevention of tumour lysis syndrome

AW

February 2021

15

2

Fulvestrant

Locally advanced or metastatic oestrogen receptor positive breast cancer

NL

April 2020

891

3

Lenalidomide

Newly diagnosed multiple myeloma post-autologous stem cell transplant

AW

April 2020

90

4

Palbociclib

HR-positive, HER2-negative locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer

NL

April 2020

539

5

Bortezomib

Multiple myeloma and amyloidosis

AW

March 2020

-

6

Rituximab

Cancer, blood and autoimmune conditions

AW

March 2020

45

7

Ruxolitinib

Myelofibrosis, lower-risk (Intermediate-1)

AW

March 2020

23

8

Olaparib

BRCA-mutated relapsed ovarian cancer

NL

February 2020

15

9

Alectinib

ALK positive advanced non-small cell lung cancer

NL

December 2019

23

10

Nivolumab and Pembrolizumab

Immune checkpoint inhibitor for advanced melanoma widened access

AW

December 2019

-

11

Trastuzumab emtansine

HER-2 positive metastatic breast cancer

NL

December 2019

25

12

Venetoclax (with or without Rituximab)

Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia

NL

December 2019

150

13

Dasatinib

Chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) and acute lymphoid leukaemia (ALL)

AW

June 2019

-

14

Ruxolitinib

Myelofibrosis

NL

October 2018

45

15

Mercaptopurine

Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia

NL

June 2018

31

16

Cetuximab

Head and neck cancer

NL

February 2018

18

17

Zoledronic acid

Early breast cancer

AW

January 2018

400

18

Pemetrexed

Mesothelioma and non-small cell lung cancer

NL

November 2017

90

19

Bendamustine

Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) and indolent non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (iNHL)

NL

July 2017

160

20

Human papillomavirus vaccine

Prevention of premalignant genital (cervical, vulvar and vaginal) and anal lesions

AW

January 2017

25,000

21

Pertuzumab

Metastatic breast cancer

NL

January 2017

32

22

Obinutuzumab

Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia

NL

January 2017

54

23

Rituximab

Hairy cell leukaemia and re-treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia

AW

January 2017

60

24

Temozolomide

High grade gliomas (and from 1 Sept 16 well differentiated neuroendocrine tumours)

AW

December 2016

144

25

Pembrolizumab

Unresectable metastatic melanoma

NL

September 2016

333

26

Nivolumab

Unresectable metastatic melanoma

NL

July 2016

254

27

Cinacalcet

Parathyroid carcinoma, calciphylaxis

NL

May 2016

5

28

Abiraterone

Advanced prostate cancer

NL

May 2015

136

29

Zoledronic acid

Hypercalcaemia and cancer-related bone metastases

AW

February 2015

26

30

Everolimus

Sub-ependymal giant cell astrocytoma

NL

November 2014

4

31

Nilotinib

Chronic myeloid leukaemia

NL

November 2014

28

32

Benzydamine hydrochloride

Oral mucositis in Cancer patients

AW

October 2014

1,047

33

Bicalutamide

Prostate cancer

AW

October 2014

60

34

Lenalidomide

Multiple myeloma

NL

September 2014

56

35

Azacitidine

Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS)

NL

September 2014

111

36

Imatinib

Imatinib-AFT for indications other than Gastro Intestinal Stromal Tumours (GIST)

NL

April 2014

-

37

Erlotinib

Alternative first-line treatment with a tyrosine kinase inhibitor

AW

January 2014

10

38

Pegaspargase

Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia

AW

April 2013

3

39

Gemcitabine Hydrochloride

Metastatic breast cancer, Hodgkin’s Disease, soft tissue sarcoma

AW

December 2012

59

40

Irinotecan

Advanced pancreatic cancer, small bowel cancer

AW

December 2012

100

41

Oxaliplatin

Advanced pancreatic cancer, small bowel cancer, advanced oesophagogastric cancer

AW

December 2012

191

42

Vinorelbine

Breast cancer, non-small cell lung cancer

AW

December 2012

5

43

Capecitabine

Metastatic breast cancer, colorectal cancer

AW

December 2012

188

44

Sunitinib

Cancer

AW

November 2012

-

45

Gefitinib

Lung cancer

AW

August 2012

53

46

Pazopanib

Metastatic renal cell carcinoma

NL

March 2012

2

47

Lapatinib

Metastatic breast cancer

NL

March 2012

31

48

Rituximab

Cancer treatment

AW

August 2011

100

49

Docetaxel

Cancer treatment

AW

July 2011

340

50

Sunitinib Maleate

Renal cell carcinoma

NL

November 2010

47

51

Erlotinib

Cancer treatment

NL

October 2010

49

52

Capecitabine

Cancer treatment

AW

October 2010

394

53

Rituximab

Cancer treatment

AW

October 2010

65

[1] PHARMAC’s financial year runs from 1 July to 30 June.