Pegfilgrastim is funded to help prevent neutropenia in patients undergoing high-risk chemotherapy for cancer.
Page updated: 30 March 2020
Increasing access to more patients
We've reduced the threshold for funding this medicine. Previously pegfilgrastim was only funded for that with a 20% or higher risk of febrile neutropenia. The threshold for funding is reduced to 5%.
This will increase the number of people who will receive this medicine. This change comes into effect on 1 April 2020.
We're making this change to reduce the need for patients to be in hospital as a result of neutropenia. This measure is intended to free up hospital resources to help respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This change was requested by the National Haematology Working Group.
From 1 April 2020, Sections B & H of the Pharmaceutical Schedule will be amended as follows (see bold text):
Approvals valid without further renewal unless notified where used for prevention of neutropenia in patients undergoing high risk chemotherapy for cancer (febrile neutropenia risk greater than or equal to
Note: *Febrile neutropenia risk greater than or equal to
205% after taking into account other risk factors as defined by the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) guidelines.
Changes are temporary
We intend to change the criteria back to the current status once health services have stabilised to a point where it becomes practical to reinstate them.
Supply of pegfilgrastim
We have discussed the proposed changes with the supplier. They have confirmed that they have sufficient stock to support this change from 1 April 2020.
Who to contact
If you have questions about this change, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Last updated: 15 April 2020