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Cancer Society welcomes announcement but wants more to enable ‘ambitious reform’

The Cancer Society of New Zealand has welcomed Associate Minister of Health David Seymour’s announcement of a funding boost of $1.7 billion to Pharmac, but says it will want to see significantly more investment and reform in the agency from the Government.

Read Minister Seymour's announcement here

“This secures funding for currently funded medicines, but doesn’t provide any potential for growth,” says Cancer Society Chief Executive Dr Rachael Hart.

“We need ambitious reform, including reform of the Pharmac funding model, to ensure timely access to medicines. Currently New Zealand sits at the bottom of the OECD in terms of our access to medicines. Minister Seymour has indicated he wants to move from back to the front of the pack. Cancer Society wants to engage in a collective and robust conversation about how to achieve this.”

Dr Hart, Cancer Society Medical Co-director Dr Kate Gregory and Cancer Society advocacy staff are attending the two-day New Zealand Medicines Access Summit in Wellington.

“We recognise this summit is at the start of this Government term so there is much opportunity to make important and necessary changes to back up Minister Seymour’s words that ensuring Kiwis have access to the medicines they need for a fulfilling life is one of Government’s ‘greatest priorities’.”