National making life a little easier for Kiwis with cancer

A change in the law which would see the law changed so that Kiwis can have their unfunded chemotherapy drugs administered in DHBs with the cost covered is a sensible move and should be supported by all of Parliament, National’s Health spokesperson Dr Shane Reti says.

“Currently unfunded cancer medicines can only be administered in expensive private cancer facilities at a further cost to the patient.

“This means that patients are not only patients mortgaging their homes, taking out loans and using up all their savings to buy their desperately needed medicines that PHARMAC won’t fund, but they then have to pay tens of thousands of dollars on top of this to have these medicines administered.

“Some of these expensive private facilities are many hours travel away from a patient’s local DHB as well.

“These Kiwis are already in the heart breaking and difficult situation of not only having cancer, but their chemotherapy drug isn’t funded. Making these New Zealanders then pay the costs of administering their medicines doesn’t seem fair.”

Dr Reti’s Member’s Bill that has today been pulled from the ballot would see a law change to allow DHBs to administer and cover the cost of administering day-stay cancer medicines where they are not funded by PHARMAC.

“We’ve seen Kiwis make huge sacrifices to get the treatment they need, it’s time for the Government to partner with our most vulnerable and give them the best possible chance to manage their cancer.

“National believes a few hours in an armchair in a day-stay chemotherapy unit pales in comparison to the tens of thousands, often hundreds of thousands, of dollars some people are paying for their unfunded chemotherapy drugs.

“The National Party is calling on the Government to support this law change and help make life a little easier for those Kiwis facing significant medical bills while trying to beat cancer.”

Note: The legislation can be found here.