Access to Medicines and Diagnostics in Aotearoa New Zealand

Our aim is for every person who needs our medicines and diagnostic tests to be able to benefit from them
Roche is focused on increasing broad access to medicines and diagnostic tests, as well as providing support to patients in a number of different ways.

We do this through:

  • Education for patients on their tests and treatments

  • Medical education for healthcare professionals

  • Gaining regulatory approval through Medsafe

  • Reducing costs for patients through working with New Zealand’s pharmaceutical management agency (PHARMAC)

  • Clinical trials investigating innovative therapies and diagnostics

  • Cost Share Programmes to assist with the costs of medicines not funded by PHARMAC

Registering a new medicine in Aotearoa New Zealand is a detailed process, which has been developed to ensure all medicines meet the quality, safety and efficacy standards of not only Aotearoa New Zealand, but other key international bodies.

When Roche is confident that a new medicine meets these standards, the team in Aotearoa New Zealand engages with Medsafe who reviews all the data from clinical trials and other sources. This is an essential step in bringing the most appropriate medicines to the right patients and involves large dossiers of data requiring expert regulatory analysis.

After a medicine is approved by Medsafe, our team works with PHARMAC to ensure the broadest access for New Zealand patients. PHARMAC’s Board meets regularly throughout the year and makes their decision on what medicines and diagnostic tests to fund on a number of factors including clinical, commercial and economic considerations. 

PHARMAC consults with a number of different stakeholder groups when making their decision, including the general public. It is important that patients, their carers and family have the opportunity to share their personal stories about living with certain diseases and the impact it has on their lives and others. The list of PHARMAC’s current consultations can be found

There are a number of medicines in Aotearoa New Zealand supplied by Roche and other pharmaceutical companies that are not publicly funded by PHARMAC, which means New Zealand patients are required to pay for these medications themselves.

To help New Zealand patients access these medicines, we have developed a number of cost share programmes which are designed to reduce the cost to patients. These programmes offer assistance with the cost of your medicine and often involve a cap being placed on either the number of doses or ‘cycles’ of the medicine, or the overall cost you pay.

In most cases once a patient reaches the cap, Roche will then provide the medicine at no cost. Other costs such as doctors’ fees and administration costs will still apply.

The medicine costs are spread over time, so not all of it has to be paid immediately. Patients usually pay for each cycle as they go, meaning you only pay for treatment while you benefit from it.

Your doctor can provide you with further information regarding the criteria for enrolling into one of the Roche Cost Share Programmes.

The following Roche medicines are not funded in Aotearoa New Zealand

Uses of Avastin® (bevacizumab):

  • Uses: Treatment of advanced (metastatic) bowel, kidney, breast, brain, lung, ovarian and cervical cancers

More Information

Uses of Cotellic (cobimetinib):

  • Treatment of advanced (metastatic) melanoma

More Information

Uses of Erivedge ® (vismodegib):

  • Treatment of advanced (metastatic) basal cell carcinoma

More Information

Uses of Evrysdi® (risdiplam):

Evrysdi is publicly funded for patients with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) who are 18 years of age or under and meet eligibility criteria upon treatment commencement.

Evrysdi is not publicly funded for some people with SMA or those who are 19 years of age or over upon treatment commencement.

More Information

Uses of NeoRecormon ® (epoetin beta):

  • Treatment of Anaemia

More Information

Uses of Phesgo (trastuzumab+pertuzumab):

  • For the treatment of HER2-positive early breast cancer and HER-2 positive metastatic or locally recurrent unresectable breast cancer, in combination with chemotherapy.

More Information

Consumer Medicine Information 

Data Sheet

Uses of Polivy (polatuzumab vedotin):

  • For the treatment of certain patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

More Information

Uses of ROZLYTREK ® (entrectinib):

  • Treatment of ROS1 positive locally advanced and metastatic non-small cell lung cancer

  • Treatment of certain patients with NTRK fusion-positive locally advanced or metastatic solid tumours

More Information

Uses of Tamiflu ® (oseltamivir):

  • Treatment of influenza

More Information

Uses of Tecentriq ® (atezolizumab):

  • Tecentriq is publicly funded for patients with locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who have previously received chemotherapy

  • Tecentriq is not publicly funded for urothelial cancer, breast cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma and other lung cancer indications.

More Information

Uses of VABYSMO® (faricimab):

  • VABYSMO is not publicly funded for the treatment of neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) and diabetic macular oedema (DMO).

More Information

Uses of Zelboraf ® (vemurafenib):

  • Treatment of advanced (metastatic) melanoma

More Information

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M-NZ-00000625-v10.0/MR10379/MAY24. This site was last updated MAY2024

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