Pharmac welcomes analysis into cancer medicines in Aotearoa

Media release Medicines

Pharmac welcomes a new report released today by Te Aho o Te Kahu (the Cancer Control Agency) which analyses the access and efficacy of cancer medicines for solid tumours in adult patients in Aotearoa. 

The new analysis, Understanding the gap: an analysis of the availability of cancer medicines in Aotearoa, found twenty gaps (18 individual medicines across ten types of cancer) where medicines funded in Australia would offer clinical benefit to New Zealanders.

Pharmac’s Chief Executive Sarah Fitt says the report offers useful insights into a complex area of healthcare. 

“Te Aho o Te Kahu has rightfully identified that there is still work to be done to improve access and outcome equity for New Zealanders affected by cancer,” says Ms Fitt. “This report offers excellent insights and new clarity about cancer medicine access in New Zealand. We are grateful to Te Aho o Te Kahu for this comprehensive analysis and for the opportunity to use it as a resource as we continue our work to secure the best health outcomes possible from medicines for New Zealanders.” 

“Both Pharmac and this report are focused on how much clinical benefit is offered by cancer medicines rather than just the volume of funded medicines. The report also acknowledges the benefit of preventative activities and diagnosing cancer early.”

“We would always like to fund more medicines and, with a fixed budget for spending on them, it’s critical we make sure our healthcare investments achieve the clinical outcomes that meet the needs of and impact the wellbeing of New Zealanders.”