Proposal to list oral vinorelbine for the treatment of various cancers

Medicines Consultation Closed

We are seeking feedback on a proposal to fund oral vinorelbine capsules.

What we’re proposing

We are seeking feedback on a proposal to fund oral vinorelbine capsules through Pharmac’s annual tender process. There would be no restrictions to access funded oral vinorelbine.

Oral vinorelbine was included in the 2021/22 Annual Invitation to Tender. As the tender process is still in progress, the brand name(s), pricing and timing for this listing are still to be determined.

Consultation closes at 5 pm on Tuesday 15 November 2022 and feedback can be emailed to

What would the effect be?

This proposal would mean that oral vinorelbine would be funded without restriction. This would mean that oral vinorelbine capsules would be funded if prescribed for any relevant use.

We understand that most use would be for people with lung cancer or breast cancer. Oral vinorelbine can also be used as treatment for children with certain cancers, people with blood cancers and noncancerous growths called desmoid tumours.  

Who we think will be interested

  • People with cancer, their caregivers, whānau and communities
  • People with desmoid tumours, their caregivers, whānau and communities
  • Groups who advocate for and support cancer patients
  • Oncologists, primary care providers and others involved in the management of cancer
  • Community and hospital pharmacies
  • Pharmaceutical suppliers and wholesalers

About vinorelbine

Vinorelbine is an anti-cancer medicine, sometime referred to as chemotherapy. It works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells in the body. It can be used alone or in combination with other medicines to treat a number of types of cancer, primarily breast and lung cancers.

Vinorelbine is supplied as an intravenous and oral medicine. Pharmac currently funds an intravenous presentation of vinorelbine, with no access restrictions.

Why we’re proposing this

We received a funding application for oral vinorelbine in 2007. Our cancer treatment advisors recommended oral vinorelbine should be funded if cost-neutral to the healthcare sector. PTAC supported this recommendation.

You can read more about the Committees’ assessment of the clinical evidence for this proposal in the clinical advice record [PDF, 141 KB].

We are proposing to fund oral vinorelbine now as we have a suitable tender bid. Oral vinorelbine offers an alternative to intravenous vinorelbine. It would provide people with cancer a more convenient treatment option. People would be able to take their medicine at home, rather than having to receive an infusion in a hospital or infusion clinic.

You can see the history of the application and the advice we’ve received in our Application Tracker.(external link)

Details about our proposal

As part of Pharmac’s 2021/22 Annual Invitation to Tender, Pharmac sought bids for the supply of a number of medicines. Some of these medicines are not currently listed on the Pharmaceutical Schedule, including oral vinorelbine.

The funded brand(s), pricing and timeframes for listing would be confirmed as part of a tender decision. Any products listed through the Tender would have Principal Supply Status until 30 June 2025.

Oral vinorelbine would be listed in Section B and Part II of Section H of the Pharmaceutical Schedule from a date to be determined, with no restrictions on who could use or prescribe it.

To provide feedback

Consultation is a very important step in our process. While we welcome any feedback related to this proposal, we would appreciate specific feedback on the following areas:

  • Who would use oral vinorelbine instead of intravenous vinorelbine
  • Whether funding oral vinorelbine would increase overall use of vinorelbine
  • What implementation activities would support the use of this treatment, particularly for Māori and Pacific peoples

Send us an email:  by 5 pm Tuesday 15 November 2022.

All feedback received before the closing date will be considered by Pharmac’s Board (or its delegate) prior to making a decision on this proposal.

Your feedback may be shared

Feedback we receive is subject to the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). Please be aware that we may need to share your feedback, including your identity, in response to an OIA request. This applies to anyone providing feedback, whether they are providing feedback themselves or for an organisation, in a personal or professional capacity.

We can only keep feedback confidential as allowed under the OIA and other related laws. If you want any part of your feedback treated as confidential, you need to tell us. Please let us know if you want to keep part of your feedback confidential, and why. Is it commercially sensitive, confidential or proprietary, or personal information? Clearly state this and tell us which parts of your feedback you want to keep confidential for these reasons. We will consider your request under our OIA requirements.