Pharmac , our drug buying agency, is taking longer than other countries such as Australia and the UK to approve drugs that can help save people’s lives.
Pharmac’s common response to that fact is that they have to be rigorous in their process and ” we can’t fund everything”
The truth of the matter is that it’s ALL about money.
The government chooses to fund the America’s Cup ($36 million) and run an austerity budget which will salt $5 Billion away (Grant Robertson informed me by email) “for a rainy day”
And its about perpetuating inequality . If the richest 10% of us who own 60% of the wealth of our country were required to pay their fair share instead of being given tax free opportunities to get even richer, there would be more money for essentials such as medications.
Well, those are moral decisions.
In my book no one should have to beg for their life in our country. Cancer drugs that are available at a cost effective price in Australia should be available here.
Bryan Bruce is one of NZs most respected documentary makers and public intellectuals who has tirelessly exposed NZs neoliberal economic settings as the main cause for social issues.