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Melanoma sufferers resort to private health care – or death


Sufferers of advanced melanoma
are being forced to resort to private health care
if they want to live following Pharmac’s refusal
to fund Keytrude. The drug is one of two alternatives
to chemotherapy for treatment, and without public funding, the cost of not being able
to afford it – is their lives. Peata Melbourne has more. New Zealand and Australia
have the highest statistics of melanoma in the world. 300 Kiwis die of melanoma
every year. The treatment limited to one drug. The difference
for Kiwis and Aussies is that Aussies have access to an
alternative drug known as Keytruda, a drug Pharmac refuses
to have publicly funded in NZ. That can cost up to $200,000
for treatment over two years, pushing people
to take desperate measures. Melonoma is not exclusive
to just fair skinned people. The Government is refusing
to override Pharmac’s decision. Pharmac’s says… However, clinicians beg to differ. Cost effectiveness, Pharmac says, is also standing in the way
of negotiations, but in the meantime, another few hundred people will die
from the cancerous disease. Peata Melbourne, Te Karere.

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