8 Aug 2008

Review of Pharmac prodedures wanted

6:18 am on 8 August 2008

Breast cancer specialists are calling for an urgent review of Pharmac's decision-making procedures.

The State drug buying agency's confirmed on Thursday that it will not fund year long courses of Herceptin for women with breast cancer.

The review was held at the direction of the High Court.

Pharmac prefers to fund a nine-week plan. A year-long course is standard overseas.

The chair of the New Zealand Breast Cancer special interest group, Dr Richard Isaacs, says Pharmac's move flies in the face of international evidence and advice from local oncologists.

He says the agency appears to be hiding a political decision by arguing against scientific evidence.

Dr Issacs says Pharmac's criteria for funding lack consistency and transparency.