3 May 2021: OIA response | Information held about fixed-dose combination of pertuzumab with trastuzumab and hyaluronidase

3 May 2021 

Dear [name and contact details withheld] 

REQUEST FOR INFORMATION 

Thank you for your email dated 5 April 2021 about a new treatment for HER2-positive breast cancer. 

You requested information under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA) relating to the funding of the new fixed-dose combination of pertuzumab (Perjeta) with trastuzumab (Herceptin) and hyaluronidase for subcutaneous injection (brand name PHESGO). You asked: 

What information does PHARMAC hold on this new treatment and has it, or does it intend to review this treatment with a view to its introduction and funding in New Zealand.

Information held about fixed-dose combination of pertuzumab (Perjeta) with trastuzumab (Herceptin) and hyaluronidase

In November 2020, PHARMAC was informed by the supplier that a new fixed-dose combination of pertuzumab (Perjeta) with trastuzumab (Herceptin) and hyaluronidase was approved in the United States and filed for approval in the EU. 

To date, PHARMAC has not received any funding applications for this treatment, and we do not currently hold any other information about the medicine. 

New Zealand’s medicines funding process

PHARMAC is the New Zealand government agency that decides which medicines and related products are funded in New Zealand. PHARMAC has a process for all funding applications to ensure that every application is treated fairly. 

Refer to the our website to read about the medicines funding process: https://pharmac.govt.nz/medicine-funding-and-supply/the-funding-process/ 

A funding application must be submitted to PHARMAC for a medicine to be considered for public funding. Anyone can submit a funding application (eg suppliers, clinicians, consumers) however, most applications are submitted by suppliers as they can provide the full range of information required by PHARMAC to assess a funding application. 

In general, before we can consider a funding application it needs to be assessed by Medsafe. However, in December 2019, we announced an exception for cancer medicines. From 1 January 2020, we began to assess funding applications for new cancer medicines at the same time as Medsafe undertaking its regulatory assessment. We predict that parallel assessment will reduce the time it takes for cancer medicines to be ranked by PHARMAC, however, we cannot guarantee if or when a ranked medicine will be funded. 

Refer to our website to read about cancer medicine funding parallel assessment: https://pharmac.govt.nz/medicine-funding-and-supply/the-funding-process/from-application-to-funded-medicine-how-we-fund-a-medicine/cancer-medicine-funding-parallel-assessment/

We trust that this information answers your queries. We are making our information more freely available, so we will 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