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Leukaemia & Blood Foundation Campaign Saves Lives

Media Release

4 November 2002

Leukaemia and Blood Foundation Campaign Saves Lives

Lives saved by the dedication and passion of brave patients in the "Save the 90" Campaign and a determined patient advocacy organisation.

Today, the Foundation celebrated the Pharmac Board's ratification to fund the breakthrough drug Glivec for all sufferers of Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML) after a hard fought public campaign.

Jim Hamilton, spokesman for the Foundation, said he was very pleased with today's confirmation of a Pharmac recommendation made earlier in October.

"The right decision has finally been made and I'd like to thank the CML patients who bravely fronted our campaign," Mr Hamilton said.

Earlier this year, the Foundation launched the high profile "Save the 90" Campaign to put pressure on Pharmac and the Ministry of Health to fund Glivec. Six CML patients fronted the campaign highlighting the unique benefits of Glivec and amassing wide spread public and political support.

"Although commentators have credited the Foundation with the success, the real credit lies with the patients and their families. Their courage has been rewarded.

"We've had marvellous support from all over New Zealand, from patients, their friends and families, members of the public, from GPs and specialists and also from the media.

"Without this support, we might not have been able to tell the real story about Glivec and make it a priority for Government funding.

"It is a sensible decision for Pharmac to fund Glivec. It will save lives and save taxpayers' money," Mr Hamilton said.

For further information about the Leukaemia and Blood Foundation or to make a donation go to http://www.leukaemia.org.nz

Ends Contact: Jim Hamilton Tel: 09 308 0240, Tel: 021 990 722

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