Pharmac has today announced plans to fund two new cancer drugs - one for breast and the other for lung cancer - pending public feedback.

The national drug funding agency are proposing that by December 1 Kadcyla, for HER-2 positive metastatic breast cancer, and Alecensa for positive advanced non-small cell lung cancer will be made publicly available.

A drug that treats relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis, known as Ocrevus, is also planned to be funded.

They say they are seeking public feedback on the proposal to fund the three drugs by August 2019.


All feedback received before the closing date will be considered by Pharmac's Board (or its delegate) prior to making the final decision on this proposal.

This comes after a long-standing fight from advocacy groups and New Zealanders dying of cancer campaigning for the lives it could extend and save.

Earlier this year Lung Cancer Foundation chief executive Philip Hope said five people die of the disease every day while a further six are diagnosed.

It launched a petition calling for more and fairer funding from Pharmac, given the number of deaths caused by lung cancer each year.

Hope said currently lung cancer drugs get $2,771,115.00 - or 2.3 per cent - of funding.

More than 600 Kiwi women die each year from breast cancer, the nation's third most common form of cancer.

Funding applications still pending include for Ibrutinib and Venetoclax for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia; Lenalidomide for multiple myeloma, an incurable blood cancer; for Lynparza and Avastin to be funded for ovarian cancer; six drugs for myeloma; Myozyme for late onset Pompe disease, a rare and fatal metabolic disorder; and medications including Keytruda, Osimertinib and Crizotinib for advanced lung cancer.