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AstraZeneca Welcomes Investment In Cancer Treatments

AstraZeneca welcomes the Government’s investment for up to 26 cancer treatments as part of an overall package of up to 54 new medicines.

The funding increase of $604 million over four years will allow Pharmac to review its priority list and deliver lifesaving and life changing medicines for New Zealanders.

Ben McDonald, Country President of AstraZeneca Australia and New Zealand, said the announcement will help ensure New Zealanders have better access to medicines that could improve their health outcomes and quality of life.

“I am pleased to see the Government make this significant investment in Pharmac. New Zealand patients have been waiting far too long for new treatments to be subsidised,” Mr McDonald said.

“It is important that New Zealanders get the best outcomes from this investment, so we look forward to continuing to work in partnership with Pharmac and the Government on how we can deliver new medicines to patients in New Zealand.

“In addition to this investment, we support further reforms which would address some of the structural policy and funding delays that New Zealand cancer patients face when it comes to accessing new medicines.

“At present, New Zealanders experience a 967 day wait, on average, between new cancer medicine receiving approval by Medsafe, and that medicine being made available by Pharmac.[1]

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“New Zealanders who are diagnosed with cancer do not have time to wait. AstraZeneca proposes that an Interim Cancer Medicines Fund is one option that could bridge this lengthy delay,” Mr McDonald said.

With a dedicated budgetary allocation, an Interim Cancer Medicines Fund could target specific cancer patients who may not have any other treatment options available, to receive earlier access to new medicines.

AstraZeneca will continue advocating for New Zealanders to have earlier access to diagnosis, and faster access to treatment and care in a fairer healthcare system.

[1] IQVIA, Access to Medicines (A to M 4) January 2011 to June 2023, 2023, 2

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