8 Nov 2015

Plea for govt to fund latest skin cancer treatment

5:18 pm on 8 November 2015

Melanoma experts say government funding for the latest skin cancer treatment could save more than 100 lives each year.

Doctors and pharmacists at the annual Melanoma Summit in Auckland this weekend are calling on Pharmac to fast-track a funding review for the prescription medicine Keytruda.

Melnet chief executive Gary Duncan said new drugs such as Keytruda extended lives and in some cases cured people of melanoma.

"We're asking Pharmac to fast-track a review of these medicines which have proved over the years so effective that they're now considered standard of care."

Without government funding, some people spent more than $100,000 per year on treatment, he said.