Pharmac shares next steps in reviewing rule 8.1b

Media release Medicines

Te Pātaka Whaioranga – Pharmac’s consultation on rule 8.1b of the Pharmaceutical Schedule has now closed.

“Rule 8.1b is a unique exception that means any medicine used to treat cancer in a paediatric setting is automatically funded without a Pharmac assessment,” says Pharmac’s Chief Executive Sarah Fitt. “Pharmac is looking at future use of this unique funding exception for children with cancer.”

All paediatric cancer treatments currently used will continue to be funded by Pharmac, irrespective of what feedback received.

“This review only relates to the funding of new medicines. We’re looking at the rule now because concerns have been raised around its fairness when compared with other groups of people and conditions, such as children with rare diseases, and the growing costs of new cancer medicines. We need to consider if there are good reasons why paediatric cancer medicines should be treated differently to everything else.”

The next step in the review is to analyse all consultation submissions and, following that, Pharmac will share a summary with the public in the next few months.

“We would like to thank everyone who submitted feedback on the consultation of the review of rule 8.1b,” says Ms Fitt. “Due to the substantial amount of feedback, we received in the consultation and to ensure that we have heard peoples’ voices accurately we will take some time to review this information and may seek clarification or further information from submitters.

“I would like to reassure people that although we are considering the review of 8.1b, current access to medicines for child cancer is not changing, nor will the use of the rule until there is an outcome of the review. All paediatric cancer treatments currently used will continue to be funded by Pharmac,” concludes Ms Fitt.