Insight

Sunday 14 February 2016, with Philippa Tolley

A bright  yellow and aqua sphere, representing the immune system, sits alongside a brown cancer sphere with little goemetric shapes between indicating the drug's action

Manufacturer's illustration of how the new melanoma drug, Keytruda, stops cancer cells hiding from the immune system

Photo: Supplied

Listen to Insight New Cancer Dugs

New Cancer Drugs and Funding Conundrums

Karen Brown investigates how good the new-generation cancer drugs, such the melanoma treatment Keytruda, really are and if NZ should fund them.

New immunotherapy drugs are the hot topic in cancer internationally. 

They stimulate the body's own immune system to fight disease, providing a possible cure for some patients. 

With the highest rates in the world of the deadly skin cancer melanoma, and no effective funded treatment for advanced disease, patients here are demanding action over the drug, Keytruda.

But the price is eye-watering and Pharmac is questioning the effectiveness.

RNZ's health correspondent, Karen Brown, investigates how good these new-generation drugs are, and the debate over whether or not NZ should fund them.

Coming Up on Insight

8:12 am Sunday 21 February: Insight: Sheep and goats - the new dairy boom?

Dairy sheep leaving the shed

Dairy sheep leaving the shed

Photo: ( RNZ / Alexa Cook )

There has been a surge in interest in sheep and goat dairy in the past few years with farms springing up around the country and plants exporting infant formula and whole milk powder to Asia and Europe.

While dairy goats and sheep have been in New Zealand  since the 1970's, numbers are climbing and about 35,000 sheep and 50,000 goats are now being milked.

But predictions for the future are mixed, with some goat exporters worried that markets will be flooded, while others say there is not enough supply to keep up with demand.

Alexa Cook explores the dairy goat and sheep industry to find out why more people are keen to get involved.