Lung Cancer Patients advocate for immunotherapy drug Keytruda to be funded

Lung cancer patient Jason Guttenbeil, shares his story.

We acknowledge Jason’s courage for speaking about his lung cancer journey and for highlighting the inequity so far as access to effective treatments like Keytruda (pembrolizumab) in the public health system.

We also acknowledge lung cancer patient Mary Wyatt for sharing her story. Both patients have had to self fund Keytruda which has given them hope and a future with their family.

Unfortunately, New Zealand lags behind many other OECD countries with its funding of targeted therapies and immunotherapies for lung cancer which is New Zealand’s biggest cancer killer (Five kiwis every day die of lung cancer).

We ask, why is it that Keytruda is funded for melanoma in New Zealand, but not for lung cancer, yet lung cancer kills four times the number of people every year?

Lung Foundation New Zealand is calling on the next Government and Pharmac to address this inequity by funding the new lung cancer treatments (including Keytruda) which have been registered in New Zealand.

Click on the link below to view his interview.