Great story, hope it encourages and gives heart to our Kiwi hep cousins to seek help
Definite kudos to Hazel for having the courage to get it out there.
When there was a suggestion put on the forum that Harvoni would become available in NZ from Feb at the cost of "about $125 per week", I wrote to the NZ Ministry of Health, who put me onto PHARMAC. Just received their reply:
Thank you for your email about funding for ledipasvir with sofosbuvir (Harvoni).
PHARMAC received a funding application for ledipasvir with sofosbuvir (Harvoni) in February 2015. The first step in assessing the funding of a new medicine is for the application to be reviewed by the Pharmacology and Therapeutics Advisory Committee (PTAC), our clinical advisory committee. PTAC also has multiple Subcommittees, including one that provides specialist advice on Anti-Infective treatments. These committees provide us with expert, objective advice on medicine funding opportunities.
Harvoni was discussed by PTAC at their meeting in May. The minutes from this meeting can be found here: www.pharmac.health.nz/assets/ptac-minutes-2015-05.pdf
It is important to note that PTAC does not make funding decisions. PTAC provides clinical advice to PHARMAC. Additionally, a positive recommendation from PTAC and/or its Subcommittee does not guarantee the medicine will be funded. It is just the first step in the process. PHARMAC must then assess a number of other factors. This will include economic and commercial considerations as well as the clinical advice we received from PTAC and the Subcommittee. Further details on the process that PHARMAC uses to make funding decisions can be found on our website here: www.pharmac.health.nz/assets/factsheet-0...unding-decisions.pdf
You can follow the progress of this funding application using our online Application Tracker:
You will see on the Application Tracker, that these funding applications have been ‘ranked’. This means they have been ranked against all other funding applications currently under consideration. We regularly reassess the relative ranking of medicine funding applications which means the ranking can change over time.
Unfortunately, we are unable to provide a definitive timeframe for if or when a funding decision will be made for these medicines. This is because there are a number of factors that can affect the relative ranking and funding timeframe for a medicine. These include the success of commercial negotiations with the supplier (including changes in price of the medication), new clinical data and/or the other funding applications being considered at the same time. Further information on how PHARMAC works can be found on our website here: www.pharmac.health.nz/about/your-guide-to-pharmac/
We are unable to advise how much Harvoni would cost to purchase privately as it may vary between pharmacies. We recommend comparing prices between several pharmacies if possible.
I hope this information is helpful. Please feel free to contact us again if you have any further questions.