22 Nov 2010

Pharmac expands access to brain cancer drug

8:51 pm on 22 November 2010

People with brain tumours are to gain better access to an expensive cancer drug from December.

New Zealand's drug-buying agency Pharmac says it is widening access to Temozolomide for patients newly diagnosed with a less advanced form of brain tumour.

Temozolomide has been funded since 2005 for patients with advanced forms of brain tumour.

Altogether, 109 patients are taking it at a cost of $2 million a year.

Pharmac says it has agreed to expand access to an extra 15 or 16 patients a year with a less advanced form of the cancer, known as anaplastic astrocytoma.