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

 

Cancer medicines need to be part of the plan

BCAC is extremely disappointed to read that access to cancer medicines does not appear to be a priority for New Zealand’s new cancer control agency according to its national director, Diana Sarfati, in a recent interview.

‘The new cancer agency represents a great opportunity to improve cancer care and outcomes, and it should have people at its heart’, says BCAC Chair Libby Burgess. ‘We are hoping that it will be an inclusive organisation that values the wisdom and contributions of New Zealanders with lived experience of cancer’.

Medical oncology is a vital component in the treatment of the vast majority of diagnosed cancers. For example, breast cancer specialists have stated that medicines play a central role in curing early breast cancer and substantially prolonging life and improving quality of life in advanced breast cancer. ‘That the agency’s director does not consider cancer medicines to be a high priority is alarming’, says Libby.

While everyone agrees that cancer prevention is the ideal, it’s just not possible for many types of cancer, and it does nothing for the thousands of New Zealanders who are already living with advanced cancer. ‘They just want access to the proven life-extending medicines that are available in other countries. It will be disappointing if this new agency, in which we all have high hopes, doesn’t deliver improvements across the entire cancer pathway, including to those who already have cancer.’

‘Diana Sarfati’s comment that it is hard to tell the difference between ‘over-hyped treatments and genuine breakthroughs’ is simply wrong’, says Libby. ‘New Zealand patients with advanced cancer are only asking for access to the medicines their oncologists recommend. These medicines have been shown to be effective in rigorous clinical trials and are the standard of care in other countries. I’m surprised that Dr Sarfati is not aware of this’, she says. ‘No-one is asking for unproven treatments.’

‘It is worrying that the new agency’s director appears to believe that New Zealand’s position as last of 20 OECD countries for access to new medicines is acceptable. We were hoping the agency would be aspirational in getting modern treatments to New Zealand patients’, says Libby. ‘Our medicines budget is woefully inadequate – New Zealand spends just $212 per capita on medicines, compared to $466 in Australia and the OECD average of $951. We are not a poor country. New Zealanders should not have to put up with severe rationing when it comes to cancer treatments.’

BCAC encourages all New Zealanders to sign the Patient Voice Aotearoa petition calling for doubling of the medicines budget and reform of PHARMAC.

https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/petitions/document/PET_91080/petition-of-malcolm-mulholland-for-patient-voice-aotearoa


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Rationing Of PPE Gear, Masks And Everything Else

From the outset, the perceived need to ration our scarce resources seems to have driven the response to Covid-19. Rationing still appears to be limiting the ability of nurses and other frontline workers to access and routinely wear the PPE gear they need to do their job safely. Initially at least, we were also rationing the public’s access to Covid-19 testing. We also continue to pick and choose among the scientific evidence to justify advising the public against the need for them to wear masks…. If it hasn’t done so already, this trend will end up eroding public confidence in the Ministry of Heath assurances that hey don’t worry people, we have enough PPE gear, testing kits and masks to go around. Counter factual : if we’re rationing it, we haven’t got enough... More>>


 
 

Gordon Campbell: On The Ethics (and Some Of The Economics) Of Lifting The Lockdown

As New Zealand passes the half-way mark towards moving out of Level Four lockdown, the trade-offs involved in life-after-lockdown are starting to come into view. All very well for National’s finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith to claim that “The number one priority we have is to get out of the lockdown as soon as we can”…Yet as PM Jacinda Ardern pointed out a few days ago, any crude trade-off between public health and economic well-being would be a false choice... More>>

ALSO:


Police Commissioner: Christchurch Terrorist Pleads Guilty

Police acknowledge the guilty pleas in the Christchurch Mosque attacks prosecution that were entered in the Christchurch High Court today. The guilty pleas to 51 charges of murder, 40 charges of attempted murder and one charge of engaging in a terrorist ... More>>

ALSO:

Transport: $54 billion Investment In Draft GPS 2021

The Draft Government Policy Statement (GPS) 2021 on land transport confirms that the Government will invest a record $54 billion in its balanced transport policy over the next decade. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Loss Of Abortion Safe Zones

No doubt, last night’s defeat of abortion law reform provisions that would have created safe zones around abortion clinics will be portrayed, by some, as a victory for free speech. It isn’t. It was a victory for bigotry and intimidation directed ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On National's Regulation Crusade

Lets step back in time now, to simpler days and to simple-minded solutions. So…. if National gets elected, landlords will once again be able to evict tenants at will, raise rents anytime they like, and ignore the need to install a healthy standard of heating in the homes they put out to rent. This promised ‘bonfire of regulations’ is being done in the name of cutting red tape... More>>

ALSO:

SMC - Expert Reaction: PF2050 Strategy

DOC has released a strategy to reach Predator Free 2050, along with an action plan through to 2025. The predator-free goal focuses on three groups of mammals: possums, three species of rats, plus stoats, ferrets and weasels... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels