Tauranga women fighting cancer, and fighting the system

New Zealand Herald article, 19 January 2019

By: Kiri Gillespie

Two Tauranga woman, each living with a terminal diagnosis, are calling for an independent inquiry into the Government agency that decides what medicines do and do not get funded, as they fight for better access to "game-changing" life-prolonging drugs in New Zealand.

Time is a precious thing for Tracy Barr-Smith and Sue Wall-Cade.

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Women who petitioned Parliament get nothing from PHARMAC’s Santa

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Women who stood on the steps of Parliament in October to present petitions to MPs calling for the funding of two important breast cancer medicines have been given a setback by PHARMAC for Christmas.
 
The petitions called for funding for Ibrance and Kadcyla, and were presented after a march to Parliament by more than 100 women representing Metavivors, a group of women with advanced breast cancer seeking access to vital medicines, and their supporters. 
 
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Health Select Committee told to review medicines funding

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Three people who are fighting to have important medicines funded for women with advanced breast cancer appeared before Parliament’s Health Select Committee hearing on 4 December to strongly put their case.

Terre Nicholson, Wiki Malton Mulholland and Malcolm Mulholland were all leaders in a march to Parliament in October, and did a magnificent job on 4 December explaining the urgent need for action. A number of Metavivors attended the hearing in support while others watched online.

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Metavivors march on Parliament

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It was amazing to see so many wonderful, inspiring women march to Parliament recently to present petitions calling for funding of important medicines for advanced breast cancer. The women were joined by their whānau, family, friends and supporters on 16 October, carrying banners with strong messages and sharing powerful stories.  

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Calling all Metavivors to speak their minds

Metavivors have a tremendous opportunity to tell politicians about your experience with breast cancer and your needs.

Parliament’s Health Select Committee is asking to hear from Metavivors to help the committee consider petitions for the medicines Ibrance and Kadycla and a letter calling for a review of PHARMAC.

The petitions and letter were presented to MPs in the Metavivors march to Parliament in October, and the committee is looking at the requests.

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