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RMI welcomes $4 million cancer medicines boost

7 March 2005

RMI welcomes $4 million cancer medicines boost, but concerns remain

The Researched Medicines Industry welcomes the Government's announcement today that it will provide an extra $4 million for cancer medicines.

"Additional funding for cancer medicines is good news but we remain concerned that PHARMAC's proposal to control spending for cancer treatments in hospitals from July 1st will ultimately threaten patients' access to vital cancer medicines," says RMI Chairman, Dr Pippa MacKay.

Dr MacKay says PHARMAC's proposal to implement a national budget and manage funding for cancer treatments in hospitals, will impose the same cost containment strategies and systems that have reduced access and choice of medicines in the community over the last decade.

"We hope the Minister of Health's vision for improving cancer treatment can be realised and that the extra $4 million will mean that these important medicines will be readily accessible by the many New Zealanders affected by cancer. The pharmaceutical industry wants to help make available the best treatment options and we are keen to work constructively with the government to ensure this".

ENDS

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