Here we provide links some of the recent media coverage about issues affecting women with breast cancer. We give full credit to the source of every story.
If any of the links don't work for you, copy and paste the headline into Google.com or your preferred Internet browser.
PHARMAC has announced it will go out for funding proposals for fulvestrant (Faslodex) for breast cancer. PHARMAC also called for tenders for a CDK 4/6 inhibitor (palbociclib (Ibrance) or ribociclib (Kisqali)). Both are needed to extend the lives of women with advanced hormone-receptor (HR) positive HER2 negative breast cancer; 61% of women have this subtype of breast cancer and could benefit from these medicines.
A Medicines NZ report has shown NZ's abysmal rank in access to medicines funding. NZ also came last in pharmaceutical invesment.
Groups representing a range of health groups including BCAC explained the urgent need for funding for important medicines. A united voice was presented. Moving photos of BCAC members and representatives of other groups.
PHARMAC has announced it will soon fund breast cancer cancer medicine trastuzumab emtansine (Kadcyla), which is needed for women with the second most common subtype, HER2 positive breast cancer. This is fantastic news!
New Zealander Blair Vining achieves a key goal - presenting his petition for a national cancer agency to Parliament. The petition was signed by more than 140,000 people and the agency has subsequently been established.
Women in the UK with advanced hormone receptor positive breast cancer will now have another treatment option, i.e. the CDK4/6 inhibitor ribociclib (Kisqali) with fulvestrant. This will be given after previous treatment with endocrine therapy such as tamoxifen or an aromatase inhibitor. In the UK, over 80% of drugs are approved for funding by NICE compared to about 25% by PHARMAC in NZ, and the UK’s system is geared for fast decisions while NZ has no time limits. We need a NICE system in here!!
New Zealand’s Breast Special Interest Group (BSIG) has written to the Health Select Committee saying many breast cancer patients who can’t afford to pay for certain medicines themselves have shorter lives and poorer quality of life.
The committee is considering two petitions from Metavivors calling for the funding of two medicines for advanced breast cancer – Ibrance and Kadcyla.
The submission is signed by BSIG group chair Dr Reuben Broom and secretary Dr Sarah Barton, and calls for more money for PHARMAC to give those with breast cancer more treatment options at affordable prices.
A long-awaited and much-campaigned-for national cancer action plan is set to soon be released for public consultation. The plan, which was committed to by Health Minister David Clark during the Cancer Care at a Crossroads Conference in January, aims to address disparities in Kiwis current access to fair and consistent cancer treatment around the country.
Summary: Chief Executive of the UK’s drug buying agency NICE, Sir Andrew Dillon, talked on Radio NZ about the UK system where Ibrance and Kadcyla are funded. It is vastly different to our own PHARMAC, with the UK funding 80% of drugs compared to about 25% in NZ. Cancer drugs can be approved within up to 180 days of being licensed in the UK compared to the years NZ applications can take.
BCAC says this is a system geared to get modern drugs to patients faster. NICE operates collaboratively and transparently to ensure the remarkable benefits of new medicines can be enjoyed by patients. So different from PHARMAC. This UK model is one NZ should follow, BCAC says!
National Party's health leader Michael Woodhouse has promised to take New Zealand's biggest ever cancer petition - signed by more than 100,000 Kiwis - to Parliament and says he will fight to drastically better the country's public health system. Woodhouse was one of 650 New Zealanders who gathered in Invercargill this weekend to join dying dad Blair Vining in his last hope for change.
Vining - with his wife Melissa and their daughters Lilly and Della-May - are the backbone of the petition calling on the Government to fund a national cancer agency. "Every New Zealander should have the right to the best treatment regardless of money, age, ethnicity, and location," Melissa says.