'It's just gone neck and neck' - Corin Dann says latest poll results show election is a two-horse race

The 1 NEWS Political Editor says Winston Peters may still hold the key to forming a government. Source: Breakfast



Pharmac urged to fund new breast cancer drug: 'Come on guys we actually really need this now'

Pharmac is being urged to fund a drug which which can improve the quality of life and extent to life of breast cancer sufferers.

Talking to TVNZ1's Breakfast today Chairwoman of Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition (BCAC) Libby Burgess said the drug, Ibrance, can be used for women with a certain type of terminal breast cancer and we "haven't had any new therapies for this form of breast cancer for over ten years".

Ibrance has been approved by Medsafe but will need funding from Pharmac and the company that makes the drug, Phizer, in order to be publicly funded.

Around 400 women could benefit from the drug if it were publicly funded.

"Come on guys we actually really need this now," Ms Burgess implored Pharmac.

She says the drug is essential and describes the situation of women with this form of cancer as "desperate".

"Women are mortgaging their homes, selling their homes and have been going overseas to get this form of treatment. If the drug is publicly funded it doesn't matter what your income is." 

BCAC says the drug would cost $5000 per month per patient and can extended the life of a patient with terminal breast cancer by about two years.

Libby Burgess from Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition says hundreds of woman would benefit from the drug. Source: Breakfast

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Ministry of Education admits it needs to do more to help children with behavioural and learning problems

The Ministry of Education has admitted it needs to do more to help children with behavioural and learning problems, saying the current waiting list for an early intervention service is "not acceptable."

More than 2,500 children under five are on waiting lists to get diagnoses and specialist support and parents are worried their children are being left behind. 

In the past year nearly 14,500 children received an Early Intervention Service, which provides support for children who have developmental or learning delays, a disability or a behavioural difficulty. 

The average wait list to see a specialist is 71 days but can be up to 300, depending on where you live. 

The highest wait in the country is in Wellington where the average is 130 days. 

The Ministry of Education says the number of children coming through the service is growing. 

"We have to admit that we have a challenge around the wait list time for some kids and we are working really hard to address that because in our view that's not acceptable," Dr David Wales said from the Ministry of Education. 

"The early years are vital and that's why we are wanting to pay attention to this wait list challenge, the longer some of these problems wait, the more difficult is is to resolve them."

Emma Goodwin is certain her five-year-old son autism, but they've been waiting for support and a proper diagnosis from EIS since October. Source: 1 NEWS