September 03, 2019
Funding rates lag cancer drug need
An advocate for late stage cancer sufferers says the announcement of $60 million in extra spending for Pharmac is a positive start but the real figure should have been closer to $1 billion.
Malcolm Mulholland from Patient Voice Aotearoa says some of the drugs that will now be funded are on the list needed by his wife Wiki for her cancer.
But he says the latest OECD figures on average spend per country shows New Zealand has a lot of catching up to do.
"The average is actually going up, it's over 16 percent now, whereas we have remained stagnant at just over 5 percent. New Zealanders should be really alarmed at this because what's going to happen is a lot more people are going to start missing out, not just in cancer but right across the board," Mr Mulholland says.
He's disappointed a new agency will be within the Ministry for Health rather than as an independent source of oversight and advocacy.
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