Potential for new political party as lobby group pushes to increase Pharmac funding

A campaign for more publicly-funded drugs could result in a new political party solely focused on the issue.

Source: 1 NEWS

Patient Voice Aotearoa chairman Malcolm Mulholland said the concept of new political entity campaigning for better drug buying policies is gathering support.

Mr Mulholland, whose wife Wiki has terminal cancer, is calling for the doubling of funding to Pharmac.

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He said patients with a raft of health issues, ranging from cancer to mental health, are being forced to "beg for their lives" when it comes to accessing the latest and most suitable drugs.

At a packed meeting attended by patients and more than 30 advocacy organisations, Patient Voice Aotearoa launched a new campaign called All I Want For Christmas Is To Live.

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The campaign calls on New Zealanders to sign a public petition urging the government to increase Pharmac funding and reform the agency.

Mr Mulholland said that, with Christmas approaching, it's the perfect time to sign the petition and think about what being with loved ones really means.