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:

  • Disease awareness for patients
  • Medical education for healthcare professionals
  • Gaining regulatory approval through Medsafe
  • Reducing costs for patients for through working with New Zealand’s pharmaceutical management agency (PHARMAC)

The process for registering and funding medicines in New Zealand

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

When Roche is confident that a new medicine meets these standards, the team in 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 PHAMAC 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 here.

Unfunded Medicines

There are a number of medicines in 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. Of Roche’s 27 medicines that are registered in New Zealand, seven are not funded by PHARMAC. These medicines are Avastin, Erivedge, NeoRecormon, Tamiflu, Zelboraf, Cotellic and Tecentriq.

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 New Zealand

Avastin® (bevacizumab)

Avastin® (bevacizumab)

Uses of Avastin® (bevacizumab):

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

More Information

Consumer Medicine Information

Data Sheet

Learn more at Cancer Treatments

Cotellic

Cotellic

Uses of Cotellic:

  • Treatment of advanced (metastatic) melanoma

More Information

Consumer Medicine Information

Data Sheet

Erivedge® (vismodegib)

Erivedge® (vismodegib)

Uses of Erivedge ® (vismodegib):

  • Treatment of advanced (metastatic) melanoma

More Information

Consumer Medicine Information

Data Sheet

NeoRecormon® (epoetin beta)

NeoRecormon® (epoetin beta)

Uses of NeoRecormon ® (epoetin beta):

  • Treatment of Anaemia

More Information

Consumer Medicine Information

Data Sheet

Tamiflu® (oseltamivir)

Tamiflu® (oseltamivir)

Uses of Tamiflu ® (oseltamivir):

  • Treatment of influenza

More Information

Consumer Medicine Information Capsule

Consumer Medicine Information Suspension

Data Sheet

Tecentriq® (atezolizumab)

Tecentriq® (atezolizumab)

Uses of Tecentriq ® (atezolizumab):

  • Treatment of metastatic lung cancer and second line advanced (metastatic) bladder cancer

More Information

Consumer Medicine Information

Data Sheet

Zelboraf® (vemurafenib)

Zelboraf® (vemurafenib)

Uses of Zelboraf ® (vemurafenib):

  • Treatment of advanced (metastatic) melanoma

More Information

Consumer Medicine Information

Data Sheet

Learn More at Cancer Treatments