Duncan Garner: We are letting our women die

Opinion 10/04/2019

Today National MP Michael Woodhouse is set to table a motion calling on the Health Select Committee to hold an official inquiry into Pharmac.

Its funding and decision-making, and the MPs involved in this committee, are under real pressure to agree.

The truth about Pharmac not only hurts, but our truth means early death.

Our women battling advanced breast cancer die earlier than women around the world fighting the same disease.

We are letting our women die, we are saying 'sorry, too many other higher priorities'.

Ireland, Canada, Britain and Australia prioritise these vital breast cancer drugs.

As a result, their women typically live five years longer than ours.

Kiwi women in this dire predicament are told to leave their support networks and go to Australia if they want a quality of life and longevity, that's true, that's what we tell them.

I have so many questions.

Why can't we fund drugs like Ibrance that will keep our women alive longer? $5000 here, $40 a month in Australia. Is Labour blocking an inquiry into Pharmac? Why?

Why is the Health Minister David Clark so quiet on this?

This is about well-being. This is about life. This is about Wiki Mulholland and her family from Palmy North. They want life. They want their mum and wife around a bit longer. They want these drugs. They pay their taxes.

The Government's playing God here, do the right thing.

There are eight MPs on the Health Select Committee who'll discuss this call for a Pharmac inquiry. Let's name them all:

Louisa Wall

Shane Reti

Liz Craig

Matt Doocey

Jenny Marcroft

Nicky Wagner

Angie Warren-Clark

Michael Woodhouse

Eight people, four Nats, three from Labour, one from NZ First. Eight people who could say yes to an inquiry. And then there's the Minister, Come on David what if it was you and your family?

Duncan Garner is host of The AM Show