Consultation open on pembrolizumab funding

Media release Medicines

PHARMAC has commenced consultation on a proposal to fund pembrolizumab (Keytruda) from 1 September 2016.

If funded, Keytruda would provide an additional treatment option for melanoma patients.

PHARMAC has remained open-minded to funding Keytruda since an application for funding was made by the supplier, Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD), and has worked constructively with MSD to reach a favourable commercial arrangement.

“As this is a new treatment area, PHARMAC continues to closely monitor developments in evidence and treatments”, says Sarah Fitt, Director of Operations.

“During recent consultation on the funding of Opdivo, PHARMAC received a number of submissions from medical oncologists that the overall evidence for melanoma treatments supported treating Opdivo and Keytruda as interchangeable treatments.”

“If this funding proposal proceeds, patients and oncologists would have the ability to choose which product best suited the specific circumstances of the patient,” says Sarah Fitt.

PHARMAC looks forward to submissions on the proposal to fund Keytruda.