Rural Women New Zealand says a decision by Pharmac to fund a new drug for lung cancer will be a boon for rural patients.
From next month, Pharmac says it will fund a targetted drug known as gefitinib, which comes in pill form.
The agency says about 100 patients per year will receive the drug, avoiding the need for chemotherapy in hospital for those who have been tested and are likely to benefit.
Rural Women New Zealand says that will be far more convenient to people living in rural areas who find cancer distressing enough, without the added difficulty of travel.
But it says good support from practice or district nurses and homecare workers will be essential.