GUEST BLOG: Bryan Bruce – No one should have to beg for their life in our country.


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”

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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.


  1. Too many Nzers are dying unnecessary and i would like to see how many of my people (Maori) are dying unnecessary I bet the numbers are very high reflecting the racist /discriminative health system that perpetuates inequalities in our country

  2. You are dead right Bruce it is all about the money not peoples needs.

    There are as of June 2018 108 meds on the waiting list.

    New Zealand is rated 41st for healthcare by the World Health Organisation, 4 places behind the usa. Our % of medicines funding has been gutted from a Pathetic 6.2% of the health budget to 3.6% as of the last budget.

    The only additional funds added to meds funding was the $114 million that was left over from the $200 million left from the 2017 budget that was hospitals meds funding.

    Our medicines funding rated by the OECD is 19th out of 20 Countries.

    It costs $11,000 a day to keep someone in hospital and it is not only cancer drugs being denied funding

    Check out my Facebook Group Under Funding of medicines By Pharmac for lots more info.

  3. Maybe if Labour undid the Key taxcuts there’d be enough dosh in the kitty to fund medicines to save lives

    Just putting it out there

    Because, you know ut seems to me New Zealanders have a choice. Tax cuts. Or fully funded pharmac abd healthcare system. But not both

    • there is no need to increase tax as this government were left a pot of money and cost of living is high compared to other countries. The secret is for this government not to waste money.Just a quick check the heating allowance (many are getting it who do not needed it) fees free has only helped a few middle class families who would have found the money anyway Pike River entry (Andrew Little trying to appease his mistakes in letting the miners go done an unsaved pit Shane Jones vanities schemes Kiwibuild an bad plan from the start Tax working party doomed before it started as Winston was never going to allow CGT. The list goes on but under this lot poverty is getting worse and there is no reset button

      • You’d dump the heating allowance in lieu of fundibg Pharmac?

        Not much point in acquiring funded medicines if your accomodation is cold and damp

        It shouldn’t be either/or

  4. “Socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor.” was a saying I read recently.
    So then?
    What do you think we should do about it @ BB?
    Vote? Ba hahahaaa hahaha ahahaha a a a!
    Strike? Baaaaaa ahahahaha aha ahaha a a a!
    Protest? Ba Baaaaa ahahahaha aha a a a a a!
    When out buying avocados at $11.00 each we also buy two cheap cleanskins, get pissed and crawl into bed? Now, there’s an idea, right? Is that why booze in the supermarkets?

    Or? ( I loved that Reese Darby safety video on Air NZ. ” What…? Or…? You can end a sentence with ‘or’ but ya can’t start one. Like Fish and Chips or…? ”
    Or what? What are we going to do about us and our lot then? I mean? We know what the problems are, and they’re almost entirely about very rich wankers with the balls of our politicians in their hands and they ju$t $queeze until they get what they want. ( I’m certainly not going to dare to comprehend what they have judith collins or paula bennet by.)
    Ok. Let me put this another way. What does one do with bullies? ( Our politicians are either bullies or are being bullied.)
    Give in? Or fight back?
    Looks like we’re so used to giving in we can’t comprehend fighting back.
    That needs to change don’t you think?
    Al Einstein said ” The definition of madness is to keep doing the same thing while expecting a different result.”

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