Today the delayed Interim Report was released by the Pharmac Review Panel. The performance of Pharmac and access to cancer drugs is a major concern for the Cancer Society.
Lucy Elwood, CEO of the Cancer Society of New Zealand says:
“Every day we see the stress caused to patients and their whānau when time is running out, they are aware of drugs funded elsewhere (such as Australia) and are waiting for Pharmac to make a decision to fund.”
“This a major milestone in a review that is absolutely crucial – it is our first independent look at Pharmac's systems and processes since Pharmac was created over 25 years ago.”
“We sincerely hope the final report is stronger. In New Zealand there is an ever-growing chasm between those who can and cannot fund unfunded drugs. The inequity and financial toxicity for patients accessing treatments that are considered "standard of care" in comparable health care systems (like NHS in the UK) is huge and growing larger every day.”
Cancer Society Chief Executive Lucy Elwood and Medical Directors Dr Kate Gregory and Dr George Laking are available for comments. To schedule an interview, please contact:
The Pharmac interim report is available here