Funding life-saving cancer drugs

By: Simon Bridges

Simon Bridges
National Party Leader

All of us have loved ones and friends who have been affected by cancer. Cancer is the biggest cause of death in New Zealand.

Recently I announced National’s plan for cancer care. Under a National government we will invest an extra $200 million, over four years, for PHARMAC to fund cancer drugs.

I’m sick of reading in newspapers that people are going without life-saving drugs. Every week I hear personal and heart-breaking stories. These New Zealanders are being forced to sell their homes and start Givealittle pages to fund drugs that are fully funded in the UK and Australia. They shouldn’t have to sell their homes to stay alive.

I see this Government wasting billions of dollars on policies that don’t work. They can find more than $2 billion for fees-free university but can’t afford life-saving drugs. That’s not good enough and our plan will change this.

We don’t want just more drugs. We want drugs that save and prolong lives. With this fund, we expect PHARMAC to buy drugs that demonstrate high levels of effectiveness internationally.

We have also committed to introducing a National Cancer Agency to deliver better diagnoses, better access and better treatment for cancer suffers.

National’s Cancer Fund is a priority for us because it’s the right thing to do. We know it’s personal. When you, or a loved one, are going through your most difficult time, your country should be there for you.