Treatment options for people with glioma, a type of brain cancer

Update Medicines

Bristol-Myers Squibb, the supplier of lomustine, a treatment used for a type of brain cancer called glioma, is discontinuing its product in New Zealand. The discontinuation is global, affecting other countries including Canada and Australia.  

We understand that without lomustine, there would be a significant unmet health need for people with glioma. We appreciate that the supplier’s decision to discontinue this treatment will be concerning.

We sought public feedback on a proposal to widen access to another treatment, temozolomide, to help meet this need. In response to this consultation, we heard there are very few treatment options for people with glioma and that there is a high need for lomustine, particularly for people with recurrent high-grade gliomas.

To address the concerns raised, we are funding an alternative, unapproved brand of lomustine from 1 July 2024 while we work on a longer-term solution. We’re also widening access to temozolomide for people with all types and stages of gliomas to help reserve supply of lomustine for those who need it most.

We are grateful for the feedback we received from the community, which will provide valuable information as we work through longer-term options for those living with glioma. We will continue to share information on any changes to treatment options in the future.