Our medicines budget has not kept up with some of the major developments in modern medicines, and for more than a decade successive Governments have underfunded Pharmac, the agency responsible for buying medicines for New Zealanders.
Almost 100 medicines approved for funding by MedSafe are languishing on a waiting list including modern medicines to treat mental health, cancer, diabetes, cardiac conditions, rare disorders, Crohn’s disease and arthritis.
In the last two years alone, New Zealanders have submitted 24 petitions to Parliament amassing over 400,000 signatures, seeking funding for a broad spectrum of lifesaving, life-transforming, or life-extending drugs.
On the Givealittle platform, hundreds of New Zealanders are now fundraising for drugs to either keep them alive or ease their suffering.
Our pharmaceutical budget has not kept pace with population growth, advances in pharmaceutical science and technology, or inflation and New Zealand is falling further and further behind.
New Zealand now sits at the bottom of the OECD for ‘per capita spend’ on medicines, behind countries like Latvia and Colombia.