LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – A High Court decision means New Zealand…

LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – A High Court decision means New Zealanders will continue to be denied treatment they could expect to receive overseas, the Cancer Society says.

The High Court at Wellington yesterday turned down an application for interim relief from eight women seeking funding for the breast cancer drug Herceptin.

“The court’s hands were tied by Pharmac’s (the government’s drug buying agency) own internal criteria that prevented New Zealanders getting appropriate access to medicines that are regarded as essential overseas,” Cancer Society chief executive Dalton Kelly said.

“This decision highlights the problems New Zealand cancer sufferers face with the current Pharmac funding and procurement policies.”

Mr Kelly said it was another wake-up call for the Government to listen to the overwhelming evidence provided by patient groups and clinicians that New Zealand needed a medicines strategy.

The Cancer Society said in its submission on the medicines strategy that, in addition to adequate funding, there must be real transparency in decision-making about all important drugs and innovative treatments.

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