LFNZ was absolutely gobsmacked to be informed the RFP for immunotherapy treatment for lung cancer had been put on hold by Pharmac. This is another blow for patients with lung cancer, who have no time to wait.
Click to view the letter from Pharmac –
2020-04-20 Sarah Fitt letter to Philip Hope re RFP update
Following is LFNZ’s response, which preceded this issue going public.
Tena Koe Sarah
Given the months of planning, we are absolutely gobsmacked to be informed the RFP for immunotherapy treatment for lung cancer has been put on hold.
This is another blow for patients with lung cancer, who are our most vulnerable.
Subsequent to your clinical advisors recommendation last April (2019), it is now clear lung cancer patients in need of immunotherapy (of which Keytruda is the gold standard), have been given false hope.
I feel, patients and their families deserve a more thorough explanation.
We too need to understand the status of applications for reimbursement of osimertinib in first line for EGFR and crizotinib in first line for Ros1.
Above all you have sighted budget to be the issue. Given especially the boost subsequent to Covid-19, how has this lack of funding happened? Have funds been redirected? Is the Minister aware of this decision? Is the Cancer Agency aware of this situation? Is the MOH aware of this?
Sarah, I would appreciate the opportunity to speak with you and in the meantime, you must understand our cause will need to engage with patient’s and speak publicly about this terrible situation, which is prolonging the premature death of 30 patients every week in New Zealand.
In the meantime, I send you a link to an updated report; Comparing Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Treatment Options between New Zealand, Australia and Europe. This report highlights just how far behind NZ is and why lung cancer patients die prematurely.
It is unacceptable that NZ funds just a third of the treatments funded in Australia for what is our BIGGEST CANCER KILLER.
Comparisons of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Treatment Options
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