Advanced melanoma treatments
PHARMAC recognises the pressing need for patients with advanced melanoma. That is why we are working hard with a number of suppliers with new treatments for advanced melanoma to reach a solution.
Reports of amazing results in specific patients is always wonderful to hear. However, clinical trials are important because they tell us how many people will benefit, not only from observable changes in cancer, but also whether this translates into people living longer and better lives. This is not always the case, unfortunately.
Funding treatments for everyone with melanoma means PHARMAC also has to think about the people who receive no benefit who may also be harmed through side effects.
Active funding applications
PHARMAC has received a number of funding applications for treatments of advanced melanoma. These applications remain under review as PHARMAC regularly obtains further advice from our specialist cancer advisers as new clinical information and data as it comes to hand.
- Dabrafenib(external link) (Tafinlar) - our clinical advisers have recommended this for decline, noting the particular toxicity associated with this treatment. [PDF, 909 KB]
- Vemurafenib(external link) (Zelboraf) - our clinical advisers have recommended this for decline. [PDF, 601 KB]
- Dabrafenib (Tanfinlar) and trametinib (Mekinist)(external link) - our clinical advisers have recommended that this combination treatment be declined.
- Ipilimumab (Yervoy)(external link) - our clinical advisers have reviewed new information related to this treatment, and they have recommended this be funded with a low priority.
- Pembrolizumab(external link) (Keytruda) - this was fully funded from 1 September 2016.
- Nivolumab(external link) (Opdivo) - this was fully funded from 1 July 2016.
Last updated: 25 March 2020