4 Nov 2015

Drug company defends cancer medication

3:16 pm on 4 November 2015

Government drug-buying agency Pharmac is hitting back at reports Australians have better access to cancer medication than New Zealanders.

Earlier this year, a report showed a higher proportion of New Zealanders were dying from cancer than Australians.

Pharmac commissioned research to find out whether the different cancer medicines funded in Australia had an impact on people's health.

Medical director John Wyeth said the report showed the agency was giving New Zealanders access to the best cancer medicines available.

"Survival rates for cancer depend on many things not just the available cancer treatments," Dr Wyeth said.

Early access to diagnoses, the types of support care available and lifestyle factors all played a part in cancer outcomes, he said.