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Cancer medicines not keeping pace with Australia - Shane Reti

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Today’s cancer medicines analysis from Cancer Control Agency Te Aho o Te Kahu shows how far New Zealand has fallen behind in the past five years, National’s Health spokesperson Dr Shane Reti says.

"The most concerning find in the analysis is the three "gaps" that are curative cancer medicines - medicines used with the intent to cure - that are funded in Australia and not in New Zealand.

"What is baffling is that five years ago PHARMAC released a similar report comparing funded cancer medicines between Australia and New Zealand, which concluded that there were only three medicines with meaningful benefits that New Zealand didn’t have.

"In the five years since that report, there are now 18 unfunded cancer medicines with meaningful benefits.

"Thousands of New Zealanders across the country are forced to buy their own cancer medicines to either extend their life or to cure them because PHARMAC will not fund them.

"Minister Andrew Little must explain why he has allowed the health restructure to consume all the resources and attention while cancer management suffers.

"The Minister should also immediately reinstate cancer targets for New Zealand’s biggest killer, which he failed to include as a key health indicator.

"After this damning analysis, Labour should put politics aside and support the Cancer Medicines Private Members Bill which will ensure children with cancer will continue to receive their treatment for free in public hospitals. Every party in Parliament have indicated their support for this bill except Labour."

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