Pharmac Funding Boost Announcement

Jun 25, 2024 | News

Although yesterday’s announcement of a Pharmac funding boost is a significant and positive step for medicines access in New Zealand, uncertainty and concern remain for many melanoma patients in New Zealand.

Pharmac will receive an extra $604 million over the next four years towards an estimated 54 drugs (26 of which are for cancer). National had previously committed to 13 new cancer drugs it would fund, but six of those (including, according to reports, treatments for melanoma) were not included in today’s announcement and will now be replaced by alternative drugs that are either “as good or better”.

New Zealand has the worst mortality rate of melanoma in the world, so funding of more melanoma drugs is welcome and very much needed. However, those melanoma patients who relied on the promise of their drugs being funded could now miss out, and all melanoma patients are still in the dark as to what treatments will be funded and when.

“The need is urgent – cancer patients don’t have time to wait in hope for answers and for funding,” says Melanoma New Zealand Chief Executive Andrea Newland. “No patient who relied on these promises should be left out. Access to essential medicines must be a priority for improving health outcomes and saving lives.”

We will continue to advocate on this issue on behalf of melanoma patients and hope the details are confirmed soon.

*You can watch the video of melanoma patient and advocate Victoria Hudson-Craig’s reaction to today’s announcement here.

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