Let's get Keytruda funded! • Breast Cancer Foundation NZ

What we do

Let's get Keytruda funded!


Pharmac plans to assess whether to fund Keytruda for triple negative breast cancer in October.

So, let’s make our voices heard and make sure it happens!

How you can help – email Pharmac by 31 August

  • If you or your loved ones have or have had triple negative breast cancer, email Pharmac and tell them all about it and how funding Keytruda would help - medically, financially, mentally and for quality of life. 
  • This includes if you did have Keytruda as part of your treatment – tell them about any financial strain from paying for it and how having it helped, and why you want that for others. No need to include any evidence or data, just write your story

Show your support

  • If you simply want to show your support and say “enough is enough, Pharmac! Fund Keytruda today for our triple negative breast community", then this template is for you. 
  • Don’t forget to share and tell others to email Pharmac today.

Email Pharmac

You dont need to use our templates or prompts, simply email enquiry@pharmac.govt.nz

You are welcome to copy us in to your emails or share your story with us too at intouch@bcf.org.nz

Triple negative breast cancer and why Keytruda is so important

10% of the 3,500 women diagnosed with breast cancer each year will be triple negative. It is generally aggressive and often has worse outcomes than other types of breast cancer. Evidence shows that Keytruda, an immunotherapy drug, can help stop early stage breast cancers from spreading and give people with advanced disease more time. Patients in other countries, like the UK, Germany, and Australia, have free access to Keytruda. Kiwis with triple negative, though, have to fund it themselves or go without, which is heart breaking given the benefits it can have.

This is why Pharmac must fund Keytruda today and why it is long overdue.

Want to know more? Check out this interview with international breast cancer expert Sibylle Loibl, patient Kirsty McAlpine and our CEO Ah-Leen Rayner.

Why does Pharmac get a say?

Pharmac is New Zealand’s drug funding decision-making body, funded by the Government. This means that access to all medicines that you do not pay for – from the oral contraceptive pill to chemotherapy – is based on a decision made by Pharmac. Drugs like Keytruda are still available in NZ, but you must pay for it yourself, which is ridiculously expensive at $7,000 a dose.

See here for more information on Pharmac’s application and decision making process.

This election year, we are asking our parties to fund and reform Pharmac because Kiwis are simply not getting free access to the same medicines – and quickly – that are available overseas.