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Long wait for Taxol funding over

Dr Jackie Blue
National Party Associate Health Spokeswoman (Pharmacare)

31 August 2006

Long wait for Taxol funding over

National's Associate Health spokeswoman responsible for Pharmacare, Dr Jackie Blue, is pleased that Kiwi women will finally have the option of the drug Taxol (paclitaxel) for the treatment of early breast cancer.

She is commenting on Pharmac's announcement that it will fund Taxol from 1 September.

"New Zealand women have watched and waited for two years for this drug to be funded - yet it has been available to women across the Tasman for five years," says Dr Blue, a former breast physician.

"Pharmac's below inflation annual budget increases have meant that Kiwis have access to fewer medicines than Australians.

"The Labour Government has squandered money and opportunities at the expense of sustainable economic growth, which has meant our real per capita pharmaceutical spend has flatlined over the past five years."

Pharmac has indicated that it will remain open to funding a similar but more expensive drug, Taxotere (docetaxel).

Dr Blue says it would be useful to have Taxotere as a back-up for women who do not tolerate Taxol.

"But I won't be holding my breath. I predict that Kiwi women will face another long wait."


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