Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Women deserve ‘game-changing’ breast cancer medicines

Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition

Media release 16 October 2018

Women marching to Parliament today, to present two petitions calling for Government funding of vital medicines, have 100% support from a coalition representing than 30 breast cancer organisations.

Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition (BCAC) chair Libby Burgess says people should not have to go to politicians begging for their lives. “It’s tragic that our vulnerable women have to march on Parliament to call for access to treatments that they would get as a matter of course in other developed countries. All people in New Zealand should have the medicines they need,” she says.

The petitions are for medicines that make a huge difference for women with advanced breast cancer – Ibrance (also known as palbociclib) and Kadcyla (T-DM1). The Ibrance petition has more than 33,400 signatures, and the Kadcyla petition has more than 2,600 signatures. These drugs can add years to women’s lives and dramatically improve quality of life. Many women are mortgaging or selling their homes, going into significant debt or going to other countries to get the drugs.

“We believe New Zealanders are compassionate people. We should not be denying people medicines that give them more time with their families and in their communities, and ease their suffering. We are not a third world country but our medicines funding is heading that way. New Zealand ranks 19th out of 20 OECD countries for access to new medicines and that’s shocking,” Libby says.

A key reason these drugs are not funded is New Zealand’s outdated model for medicines funding which hasn’t kept pace with advances in medicines, particularly those for cancer.

“We believe PHARMAC needs to be entirely reformed so that the focus is firmly on improving people’s lives. It needs to have greater transparency, faster decision making and significantly more funding. PHARMAC currently has a spending cap which comparable countries don’t have, and of 30 OECD countries only Mexico spends less than New Zealand on medicines. Countries like Canada, UK and Australia also have fast access schemes, where decision making is streamlined for drugs with immediate proven benefit,” Libby says.

New Zealand women with advanced breast cancer die sooner than those in comparable countries, with median survival of only 16 months, compared to 2 to 3 years elsewhere. Māori women fare worse than others, with only 5% surviving 5 years compared to 15% of non-Māori women.

Women have been very disappointed with responses from the Minister of Health, Hon Dr David Clark, when they have written to ask that these vital medicines be funded. He has said that he will not act and that PHARMAC’s decisions must be independent. However, the Minister of Health is responsible for obtaining funding for PHARMAC, for monitoring their performance and holding them accountable for it. The damage PHARMAC’s decisions are causing to women and their families is unacceptable.


ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Hong Kong Protest Movement

Nearly ten weeks after the huge Hong Kong protests began, managing to still get 1.7 million people onto the streets in the rain is a testament to how strong the pro-democracy movement has become...

The pro-democracy protests enjoy huge support among Hong Kong’s youth, partly because the democratic systems currently at risk have only a limited time span. More>>

ALSO:

 
 

Welfare: More Measures To Help Those Facing Homelessness

Ministers have announced $54 million in Government funding for initiatives which will support at-risk individuals and whānau to stay in their existing tenancies. The funding will also provide additional wrap around services. More>>

ALSO:


Corrections: New Strategy On Māori Reoffending And imprisonment

Authentic co-design with Māori, incorporating a Te Ao Māori worldview, and greater connectedness with whānau are key elements of Hōkai Rangi, Corrections’ new departmental strategy designed to address the long-term challenge of Māori reoffending and imprisonment. More>>

ALSO:

Pacific Island Forum: Australia v Everyone Else On Climate Action

Traditionally, communiques capture the consensus reached at the meeting. In this case, the division on display between Australia and the Pacific meant the only commitment is to commission yet another report into what action needs to be taken. More>>

ALSO:

Unscoped Or Missed Damage: Resolution For Canterbury Owners Of On-Sold Homes

People with over-cap on-sold* properties in Canterbury can now apply for a Government payment so they can get on and repair their homes. More>>

ALSO:

Hamilton-Auckland: First Urban Growth Partnership Signed

New Zealand’s first urban growth partnership between the Government, local councils and mana whenua was signed at a meeting of mayors, chairs and ministers in Hampton Downs today. More>>

ALSO:

Vote On Action Next Week: Secondary Principals Walk From Negotiations

“Unfortunately we consider there is no further value in continuing negotiations at this point. The government has not been able to table an offer that will be acceptable to our members.” More>>

Patrol Car Stolen, Glocks Taken: Manhunt In Gore

The driver rammed the patrol car before fleeing on foot with Police chasing, also on foot. The man has then circled back around, stolen the patrol vehicle, which had the keys left in it, and rammed another Police car... Two Police-issued Glock pistols were stolen. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels