March 02, 2023
Lack of action on Pharmac slammed
A campaigner for health system reform says it’s been a year since former Health Minister Andrew Little promised change at Pharmac, but nothing has been done.
Malcolm Mulholland from Patient Voice Aotearoa says a review of the government drug buying agency highlighted its failure to fund the latest cancer drugs or the cystic fibrosis wonder drug Trikafa which are funded overseas.
The review also identified a failure to deliver equity for Maori, Pasifika and disabled populations.
“A lot of our people are affected because they don’t have the income by which they can purchase drugs that will either proloig or save lives and I think that’s a sad indictment not only of Pharmac but the health system in general,” Dr Mulholland says.
Maori with cancers tend to be diagnosed at a later stage when there is an increased need for the latest medicines rather than options like radiation or older forms of chemotherapy drugs.