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Bowel Disease Patients To March On Pharmac And Parliament To Present 30,000+ Signature Petition

On 2 December 2020, Crohn’s and Colitis NZ will lead a march of patients, supporters and medical specialists on Pharmac and Parliament to present a petition pleading for access to ustekinumab, an urgently-needed medication for New Zealanders suffering with severe Crohn’s and Colitis, for whom all other treatments have failed. The march is the culmination of an intense three-month nationwide campaign to highlight the desperate need for this treatment.

Pharmac CEO Sarah Fitt and Chair Hon Steve Maharey will address the petitioners outside their headquarters, and join a three-minute silence to mark the lives of those who have suffered needlessly by not having access to medications readily available in other countries. Act Party Leader, David Seymour, who initiated the cross-party calls for a Government review of Pharmac in the lead-up to the election, will receive the petition at Parliament.


  • 10.45am: Petitioners gather at Civic Square, Wellington for speeches by campaign leaders
  • 11.30am: March leaves Civic Square
  • 11.35am: Stop at Pharmac’s headquarters at 40 Mercer Street for 3 minute silence and address by Pharmac chiefs
  • 12.15pm: Stop at at the Cenotaph on the corner of Lambton Quay and Bowen St; patients and doctors available for media interviews
  • 1.00pm: Petition presented at Parliament


  • Richard Stein, MD, FRACP, FACG, AGAF, Chair, Crohn’s & Colitis NZ
  • Professor Richard Gearry MB ChB, PhD, FRACP, Professor of Medicine, University of Otago
  • Belinda Brown, patient & Operations Manager, Crohn’s & Colitis NZ
  • Marian O’Connor RGN, MSc, Co-Chair NZ Inflammatory Bowel Disease Nurses Group
  • Hon Steve Maharey & Sarah Fitt (Pharmac CEO & Chair) at Pharmac’s headquarters on Mercer Street
  • David Seymour, Act Leader – outside Parliament
  • Brooke Van Velden, Act Deputy Leader and Health Spokesperson
  • Patients and their supporters
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