Ex­tra Phar­mac fund­ing shot in arm

South Waikato News - - Conversations - LOUISE UPSTON

Bud­get Day is quickly ap­proach­ing and the Na­tional-led Gov­ern­ment has al­ready started to make some an­nounce­ments about its ex­cit­ing con­tent.

Along­side a strong fo­cus on the econ­omy, the Bud­get will also en­sure we keep meet­ing the needs of New Zealand fam­i­lies in key ar­eas like health.

Our most re­cent an­nounce­ment will see an ex­tra $39 mil­lion in­vested in Phar­mac for 2016/17 and an ex­tra $124 mil­lion over the next four years.

This in­crease in fund­ing will al­low the gov­ern­ment agency to pro­vide more New Zealan­ders with ac­cess to new and im­por­tant life­sav­ings medicines.

It will also pro­vide Phar­mac with more op­tions on new medicines it can fund lead­ing to more pa­tients those medicines can help.

Fund­ing of th­ese medicines that help peo­ple live longer and bet­ter lives is what Phar­mac is all about. This ex­tra fund­ing will only con­tinue to help those in need.

In 2014/15 around 3.5 mil­lion New Zealan­ders re­ceived a funded medicine – 100,000 more than the pre­vi­ous year.

Phar­mac has ad­vised they are cur­rently con­sid­er­ing fund­ing around 50 new drugs, vac­cines and de­vices.

One of the drugs Phar­mac in­tends to fund is Op­divo, a drug used to treat ad­vanced melanoma.

A se­ri­ous ill­ness that af­fects about 350 peo­ple each year, New Zealand cur­rently has the high­est rate of melanoma in the world.

Al­though fur­ther work is needed to re­duce th­ese num­bers, en­sur­ing pa­tients get the right treat­ment and care is cru­cial to their re­cov­ery.

Na­tional is com­mit­ted to de­liv­er­ing bet­ter, sooner, more con­ve­nient health­care.

Last year over 70,000 New Zealan­ders ben­e­fited from 41 new and widened ac­cess medicines.

De­spite chal­lenges in health in­clud­ing an age­ing pop­u­la­tion and dif­fi­cult eco­nomic times, we’re mak­ing each dol­lar go fur­ther and we’re get­ting great re­sults.

Lead­ing up to May 26 Bud­get Day, look out for more pre-bud­get an­nounce­ments.

While it will be a strong Bud­get that has at its heart a fo­cus on the econ­omy, the eco­nomic and so­cial sides of our agenda are closely linked.

A strong econ­omy means a strong health sys­tem.

More in­for­ma­tion about this and other Bud­get an­nounce­ments can be found on my Face­book page www.face­book.com/louise­up­stonmp, or on my web­site www.louise­up­ston.na­tional.org.nz

Bud­get Day is quickly ap­proach­ing.

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