Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Hon Annette King - Re: Beta-Interferon

Media Release
Minister of Health

Hon Annette King

EMBARGOED SUNDAY DECEMBER 26

Re Beta-Interferon

Health Minister Annette King has directed the Health Funding Authority to instruct the board of Pharmac to fund the beta-interferon drugs for the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

Her decision brings to a successful end a long campaign by sufferers of the disease and the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Mrs King said today, "We made this pledge during the election campaign, and it was a decision supported by the health select committee which heard compelling evidence that the previous Government took little notice of.

"Multiple sclerosis is a disease with little or no treatment possible, and the Government wants to do what it can to help sufferers who can benefit from this drug treatment.

"Until this decision, New Zealand was one of only two countries in the world mean enough not to fund those drugs."

Mrs King said criteria for eligibility for beta-interferon has been developed in direct consultation with leading New Zealand neurologists who specialise in the management of multiple sclerosis.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disease of the nervous system that impairs the flow of messages from the brain and spinal cord to other parts of the body.

The disease causes sufferers to go through bouts of becoming worse or better, and while there is no cure, clinical trials have shown beta-interferon drugs can help reduce the number of relapses in some patients by about 30 percent a year, and the rate of severe attacks by about 50 percent.

For patients whose disease has caused ongoing progression of disability (the secondary progressive form of MS), beta-interferon delays progression by about 50 percent, meaning the drugs may prolong the time between when a person is diagnosed with MS and becomes quite disabled.

Mrs King said perhaps up to 130 New Zealanders could be helped by the new subsidy.

Some New Zealanders already paid for the drugs themselves, but their eligibility for access to the subsidy would be no higher or lower than any other patient, Mrs King said.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Jami-Lee Ross Saga

In the end, the Jami-Lee Ross tweet about secretly taping his leader and promising to use it – assuming that such a tape exists, and wasn’t just being conjured out of thin air as a random threat – is a more serious offence than the original leak.

After all, even the PWC report hadn’t finally and definitively pointed the finger of blame at Ross, but had cited him merely as the most likely suspect. More>>

 

New Hager Investigation: War Crimes, Sexual Assaults And Coverups In Armed Forces

A string of current and ex-New Zealand Defence Force staff have contacted Hager since the book he co-authored with Jon Stephenson – Hit & Run – was published in March 2017... More>>

ALSO:

Israel's Anti-Boycott Law: NZ Activists Fined Over Lorde Cancellation Raise $12k For Charity

New Zealand activists being fined in Israel for urging pop singer Lorde to cancel her concert have raised more than $12,000 for a Palestinian charity. More>>

ALSO:

NZEI: Teacher Shortage Plan Falls Short

NZEI Te Riu Roa has welcomed the Government's announcement of new initiatives to address the growing teacher shortage, but says teaching must become a sustainable career choice if there is to be a long-term solution… More>>

ALSO:

New Study: Women’s Refuge Examines Reproductive Coercion In NZ

While some research on reproductive coercion has been undertaken in other countries, like the United States, to date there has not been a comprehensive study of reproductive coercion in New Zealand – making this study a first of its kind. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Govt’s Feeble Response To Loan Sharks

The coalition government’s attempts to minimise the harm done by loan sharks comes nearly 12 years after a major report in 2007 had identified how fringe lenders were aggressively targeting low-income Pacific Island and Maori communities. As that study had found, only 43% of those accessing loan sharks were, at the time, in paid employment. More>>

ALSO:

Sewer Drug Tests: Wastewater Testing To Roll Out Nationally

Testing will be rolled out to 38 sites across the 12 Police districts this month and will capture 80% of New Zealand’s population. Police Commissioner Mike Bush says wastewater testing is crucial to Police’s understanding of drug consumption in our communities. More>>

ALSO:

Four Stood Down: Two Probes Into Police Trainees Are Criminal Investigations

Two of the four investigations into trainee police over claims of misconduct are criminal investigations, the Police College training manager says. More>>

ALSO:

Earthquake Claims: One Stop Shop Launched

The Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service... will provide independent case management to bring together fast tracked claims handling, specialist engineering support, psychosocial support, and legal expertise to help resolve claims. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels