Key absolutely destroys Little over Pharmac, Keytruda and the TPP

The major objection about the TPP was that Pharmac would have more expenses buying drugs.

Key said he’d give them more money – individuals would not pay more at the Chemist.  Check.

The Keytruda people and Little got together to run a big campaign against Key as an uncaring bastard letting people die of cancer.

Well, that lunch cost the Keytruda idiots dearly as the contract has gone to a competitor.  People get a melanoma drug.  Check.   Your move, Andy.

Drug-buying agency Pharmac has confirmed funding for advanced skin cancer drug, Opdivo, following a public outcry over a lack of options for melanoma sufferers.

In December, Pharmac announced it would not fund melanoma drug pembrolizumab, also known as Keytruda, saying there was not enough evidence to show it works.

Melanoma campaigners have been calling for funding for new treatments, and Pharmac today announced nivolumab (brand name Opdivo) will be fully funded from July 1.

It follows extra funding from the Government in this year’s Budget.  

“It’s just wonderful to be in a position where we’ve got a treatment where we’re really convinced that the data shows patients are going to live better and going to live longer as a result of that treatment,” says Pharmac chief executive Steffan Crausaz.

It is expected to benefit around 350 patients a year.

Melanoma drug campaigner Leisa Renwick says it’s exciting news.

“Finally we have a treatment across the line.  Finally melanoma patients in this country have a chance.”

Mrs Renwick, who is using Keytruda, says it’s a great leap forward but the next step is to get targeted therapies called BRAF inhibitors funded.

“We’re still not where Australia is.  Immunotherapy drugs alone did not save me, BRAF inhibitors saved me, immunotherapy drugs have given me a future.”

The Cancer Society says it’s great news off the back of last year’s disappointing decision not to fund pembrolizumab (Keytruda).

“This is probably the best of the bunch so far.  Nivolumab, pembrolizumab, they’re both pretty much identical and we’d have been happy with either.  It’s Pepsi and Coke, virtually the same, there are a few subtle differences but oncologists largely regard them as identical.” says Cancer Society medical director Dr Chris Jackson.

But he says it’s just the first step.

“New Zealanders have had no effective funded therapy for advanced melanoma and today we got onto rung one of the ladder, although there are many steps above.”

Why do people even bother getting Labour to lobby on their behalf…it always fails.

National delivers while Labour wines and dines big Pharma.

Another crisis averted by Labour declaring one.




Do you want:

  • Ad-free access?
  • Access to our very popular daily crossword?
  • Access to daily sudoku?
  • Access to Incite Politics magazine articles?
  • Access to podcasts?
  • Access to political polls?

Our subscribers’ financial support is the reason why we have been able to offer our latest service; Audio blogs. 

Click Here  to support us and watch the number of services grow.

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.