21 Dec 2023

NZ man in Germany for cancer treatment after treatment rejected by Pharmac

From Morning Report, 7:46 am on 21 December 2023

An Auckland man is getting treatment for an aggressive bone marrow cancer in Germany after local treatment options were unavailable or rejected by Pharmac.

David Cotton will spend Christmas in Wurzburg without his family while he completes a round of immunotherapy drugs and blood cell treatment for leukaemia.

It's the third time his cancer has returned since he was diagnosed in 2008.

This time round, he had hoped he would be able to take the drugs - inotuzumab and blinatumomab - that had previously put him into remission here in New Zealand, but Pharmac declined the application.

David spoke to our reporter, Niva Chittock, from Germany.