“It is grotesque political theatre to make people wait for the budget to get their medicines funded each year,” says ACT Health spokesperson Brooke van Velden.
“A more mature Government would have included funding in the PHARMAC review so that we have a policy to compare options of non-pharmaceutical interventions, such as operating with buying the drugs.
The Government is spending more than twice as much on restructuring the health care system as it is on PHARMAC.
“For example, Crohns and Colitis patients often face multiple operations to remove their intestines when the right drugs could have let them live without a colostomy bag.
“At the moment we have no policy to weigh up those options but the Government PHARMAC review won’t even ask the question.
“Instead we had to wait for the budget, “just a few more sleeps” as Grant Robertson kept saying.
“ACT continues to call for PHARMAC funding to be reviewed. It’s what’s fair and right for people who are suffering from chronic pain and diseases.
“It’s time to fix this systemic problem instead of having ill people cross their fingers and hope the best each year.”