MSD signs KEYTRUDA agreement and offers bridging programme
MSD has signed a provisional agreement with PHARMAC (subject to stakeholder consultation and PHARMAC board approval) to fund MSD’s anti-PD1 immunotherapy
KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) for the treatment of advanced melanoma that has spread.
Mr Paul Smith, MSD New Zealand Director, says, “After much negotiation, we are very pleased to have signed this provisional agreement. We understand PHARMAC will now consult with a range of stakeholders and seek approval from the PHARMAC Board. All
going well, we would hope that melanoma patients could be receiving KEYTRUDA on a fully funded basis fromSeptember 1.
“In the meantime, MSD is providing a bridging programme for current melanoma patients on KEYTRUDA and for melanoma
patients who would like to start KEYTRUDA treatment. The programme provides melanoma patients with two months’ supply of
KEYTRUDA paid for by MSD.
“It means melanoma patients using KEYTRUDA now, can maintain their current treatment regime rather than go through the
inconvenience and potential stress of switching medicines. It will also allow other melanoma patients who wish to start
KEYTRUDA, to do so. The bridging programme begins today and ends on September 1.
“This is great news for patients and given that New Zealand has the highest rate of melanoma in the world, it is vital
that people quickly get access to new treatment options.”