"The Cancer Society is thrilled that PHARMAC have answered our call to fund effective therapies for advanced melanoma, now including Keytruda", says the Cancer Society's Medical Director Chris Jackson.
"New Zealand has the world’s highest rate of melanoma, and yet we have seriously lagged behind other similar countries in our access to effective treatment.
"We congratulate PHARMAC on reaching commercial terms with two companies to allow access to the first effective drugs for melanoma", says Jackson.
From 1 September, pembrolizumab (Keytruda) will provide an additional treatment option for melanoma patients, alongside the already funded Opdivo. This is great news and the Cancer Society is pleased to have been a part of the advocacy for this drug to be funded.
For more information on PHARMAC's decision, visit: https://www.pharmac.govt.nz/news/notification-2016-08-02-pembrolizumab-nivolumab