A number of Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition (BCAC) committee members and supporters were among those who braved the wet weather this week to attend the “Lie Down for Life” event held in the Auckland Domain.

The Auckland event, just one of several held in cities all over the country with hundreds attending, was in support of the presentation to Parliament of Patient Voice Aotearoa’s (PVA) petition to double PHARMAC’s budget and conduct a full review of the organisation. This petition was signed by more than 100,000 people demanding change to the way New Zealand provides access to medicines.

At the lead event in Wellington, ACT's deputy leader Brooke van Velden accepted the petition from PVA chairperson, Malcolm Mulholland.

BCAC Chairperson, Libby Burgess emceed the event in Auckland and she told the crowd attending that New Zealand is at the absolute bottom of developed countries in access to health giving, life-saving medicines.

“It doesn’t matter what treatable disease you have, be it cancer, diabetes, arthritis, cystic fibrosis, any chronic illness or rare disease, you’re likely to be suffering bad health or a shorter life because you’re being treated with cheap, outdated medicines. New Zealanders deserve better than this.

“We are asking that PHARMAC’s budget be doubled, then tripled. This would only bring it up to the OECD average – the norm in countries like ours. We also want a full and transparent review of PHARMAC. We need PHARMAC to be able to invest in the best medicines now. We want transparency, timeliness, honesty, benevolence and aspiration to do the best for our people.”

Libby noted that the Government has the power to make these changes and through the petition and the Lie Down for Life events nationwide, people all over the country are imploring them to do so.

The event concluded with a remembrance list being read out to acknowledge all those loved ones who have been lost too early while waiting for access to the medicines they needed.

For more about the Lie Down for Life events visit https://weareworthit.nz/

15 May 2021

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