12 May 2021

100,000-strong petition calls for overhaul of Pharmac

2:18 pm on 12 May 2021

A petition with more than 100,000 signatures calling for the overhaul of Pharmac is being presented to Parliament today.

Pharmac protest outside Parliament

Protesters outside Parliament to deliver a petition about Pharmac. Photo: RNZ / Ruth Hill

Patient Voice Aotearoa spokesperson Malcolm Mulholland said they want Pharmac's budget doubled immediately, and tripled within two years to $3 billion.

New Zealanders only had 33 percent of Australia's medicine budget per capita and patients were dying because of lack of access to drugs, Mulholland said.

Pharmac's chief executive Sarah Fitt said they would always have more medicines they wanted to fund and that means sometimes they had to make difficult choices.

The drug-buying agency recognised patients' challenges but their job was to look at all the evidence and make a decision in the interests of all New Zealanders, she said.

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