PHARMAC seeking views on new breast cancer medicine

Media release Medicines

PHARMAC has reached a provisional agreement with medicine supplier Pfizer to fund palbociclib (marketed as Ibrance) for first-line and second-line treatment of certain types of breast cancer.

Consultation has gone out today to health professionals and is available on our website for anyone wanting to have their say about the proposal to fund Ibrance.

> Read the consultation

“Consultation is a very important step in our process. It’s how we check that what we are proposing can be implemented by the health sector and that the people who will get the most benefit from the medicines will be able to access them", says PHARMAC’s Chief Executive Sarah Fitt.

If the feedback from the consultation is positive, and the proposal is approved by the PHARMAC Board, then patients could be prescribed Ibrance from April this year.

It is estimated that over 2,000 New Zealanders will be eligible for the first and second line treatment in the first year of funding, and up to 950 New Zealanders eligible over each subsequent year.

Our clinical experts have told us that these types of medicines (CDK4/CDK6 inhibitors) can stop or slow down the progression of the cancer, giving people more time to spend with their loved ones.

“We are here to make more medicines available for more New Zealanders,” says Ms Fitt. “We do this by negotiating with medicine suppliers and running competitive pricing processes. In this instance we ran a request for proposal process and Pfizer offered the most competitive package.”

To date, PHARMAC has approved the funding of 9 new medicines and widened access for 26 medicines in this financial year starting 1 July 2019.