Erivedge®

(vismodegib)

Pronounced Err-i-vej

Erivedge, also known as vismodegib, is a targeted therapy used to treat a type of skin cancer called advanced basal cell carcinoma (aBCC).

It is registered by Medsafe for the treatment of adult patients with aBCC when:

  • The cancer has spread to other parts of the body (called ‘metastatic’ basal cell carcinoma), or
  • The cancer has spread to surrounding areas (called ‘locally advanced’ basal cell carcinoma), and your doctor has decided that treatment with surgery or radiation is not appropriate.

How Erivedge works

Problems with a signal found in certain cells in the body can cause BCC cancer cells to grow. More than 90% of all BCCs have this abnormal signalling, which takes place in what’s known as the ‘hedgehog pathway’.

Erivedge is an inhibitor of the hedgehog signalling pathway. It works by interrupting the cell signalling — which can slow the growth of cancer cells, stop them growing altogether, or kill them. As a result, your skin cancer may shrink.

Possible side effects of Erivedge

All medicines can have side effects. You will find a list of possible side effects in the Erivedge Consumer Medicine Information here.

Always talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.

Clinical trial data

The efficacy and safety of Erivedge as a treatment for patients with aBCC has been studied in clinical trials.

If you are interested in knowing more about this, ask your doctor.

Keep in mind that everyone is different, and the response and benefit you may experience with Erivedge cannot be predicted.

How to access Erivedge therapy

Erivedge is registered by Medsafe, but not publicly funded by PHARMAC. This means you will have to pay for this medicine. Paying for treatment requires careful thought, but there are financial options that may help you fund private treatment. If you have health insurance, carefully check what’s covered — every health insurance provider has different rules and benefits that cover cancer treatment, surgery, tests and specialist appointments.

The Erivedge Therapy Cost Share Programme

Roche New Zealand has set up a cost share programme for Erivedge, to enable patients to access the medicine at a discounted price.

If you are considering treatment with Erivedge, ask your doctor about:

• How much will the medicine cost me?
• What benefits might the medicine give me?
• What are the possible risks or side effects?
• Is the Cost Share Programme available to me for this medicine?

Erivedge comes in a tablet form, so you can take it at home.
All treatments need to be considered in line with your individual situation, and your doctor will determine whether Erivedge is the right treatment for you.

Ready to take the next step?

Making decisions about treatment options involves working through the advantages and disadvantages, so you can decide what may work best for you and your loved ones. 

Because every situation is different, it’s important to speak to your doctor to find out if Erivedge is right for you.

Talking to your doctor about Erivedge

We’ve put together a discussion guide to help you begin a conversation with your doctor about Erivedge. Print it off, take it along to your next appointment, and take notes in the spaces provided.

For further information about private treatment providers click here.

You can also talk to your current doctor about referral to a private doctor or treatment centre.

To learn more about how medicines become available in New Zealand, click here.

Handy resources

Erivedge Consumer Medicine Information
Click Here

Erivedge® (vismodegib 150mg capsules) is a Prescription Medicine used to treat adults with a type of skin cancer called advanced basal cell carcinoma (BCC). It is used when the cancer has spread to other parts of the body (“metastatic” BCC) or has spread to surrounding areas (“locally advanced” BCC) and your doctor has decided that treatment with surgery or radiation is not appropriate.

Do not take Erivedge if: you are pregnant, think you may be pregnant, or are planning to become pregnant during the course of treatment or during the 24 months after your final dose of Erivedge; you are a woman who is able to have children but unable or unwilling to use two acceptable forms of birth control (contraception) during the course of treatment or during the 24 months after your final Erivedge dose; you are breast-feeding or intend to breast-feed in the future.

Tell your doctor if: you plan to donate blood or blood products during treatment with Erivedge or plan to do so in the future; you plan to donate sperm during treatment with Erivedge or you plan to do so in the future; you are allergic to Erivedge, or any of the ingredients listed on the pack; you are taking other medicines.

Tell your doctor immediately or go to your nearest Accident and Emergency Centre if you notice any of the following: shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest tightness or wheezing; swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body; rash, itching or hives on the skin. Possible common side-effects may also include: feeling sick (nausea), diarrhoea, constipation, vomiting, indigestion, stomach pain; tiredness, unusual weakness; weight loss, decreased appetite, change in/loss of taste; symptoms of dehydration such as dry or sticky mouth, low or no urine output, dark coloured urine, no tears or sunken eyes; muscle spasms, pain in your chest, back, side or extremities (arms and legs); muscle, tendon, ligament, joint or bone pain; aching muscles, muscle tenderness or weakness, not caused by exercise; hair loss, loss of eyelashes, abnormal hair growth; loss of menstrual periods.

Erivedge has risks and benefits. Ask your doctor if Erivedge is right for you. Use strictly as directed.  If symptoms continue or you have side effects, see your healthcare professional. For further information on Erivedge, please talk to your health professional or visit www.medsafe.govt.nz for Erivedge Consumer Medicine Information.

Erivedge is not funded by PHARMAC. You will need to pay for this medicine. A prescription charge and normal doctor’s fees may apply.

Consumer panel dated 13 May 2019.