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National Stubborn in Helping Sick Kiwis

Barbara Stewart MP

Spokesperson for Health
18 OCTOBER 2016

National Stubborn in Helping Sick Kiwis

New Zealand First is calling on the government to stop procrastinating and act urgently to allow Pharmac to be more responsive in funding treatment of rare and life-limiting diseases.

“Despite several opportunities to show their support in Parliament, National has repeatedly rejected New Zealand First’s Health & Disability (New Medicines & Rare Conditions) Amendment Bill,” says Barbara Stewart, Spokesperson for Health.

“The bill would have a direct impact on many breast cancer sufferers who currently miss out on new medicines being used widely overseas.

“The Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition has launched a campaign calling for an urgent increase in the funding of medicines to improve quality of care. The Minister of Health should watch their heart-breaking campaign video where Kiwis with secondary breast cancer are pleading for new medicines to be funded, as they are in Australia. It may give the out-of-touch minister a small idea of the suffering many individuals and families are experiencing.

“This situation is dire. Out of 13 OECD countries, New Zealand is rated the lowest for access to cancer medicines. This is despite our cancer rates being over 62% higher than the world average.

“It is clear more and more New Zealanders are not getting access to medicines they desperately need,” says Mrs Stewart.


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