Unicorn Foundation New Zealand and eight more cancer local organizations presented a manifesto to the Minister of Health, politicians and their health advisors in a campaign to encourage all political parties to work with the NGOS to help Kiwis receive improved cancer care, funding and access to treatment no matter where one lives in New Zealand. Almost 50 New Zealanders with neuroendocrine cancer are currently raising tens of thousands of dollars to pay for treatment in Australia because the life-prolonging treatment isn’t available locally.
Unicorn Foundation New Zealand along with patients are petitioning Pharmac, the New Zealand government agency that decides which pharmaceuticals to publicly fund in New Zealand, to consider funding specialist Peptide Receptor Radionuclide Therapy (PRRT) for NET patients. 2000 signed letters were delivered along with the Consumer Submission made by Unicorn Foundation New Zealand.
Siobhan Conroy, CEO of Unicorn Foundation New Zealand, said to local media: “About 2000 New Zealanders have neuroendocrine cancers but only a fraction need PRRT, and it was a relatively cheap treatment for Pharmac to support. It gives patients extended life and quality life. Patients can go back to work quite often. It is being around to see key milestones in a patient’s life – that’s absolutely massive.” Budget 2017 includes a $60m boost to Pharmac to allow greater access to medicines. Outcome of active lobbying effort of local cancer organizations can be expected in October.