$1.7b for no increase in access to medicine


$1.7b for no increase in access to medicine

Media Release from the Labour Party
1 minute to Read
Unfiltered 2021

The National-led Government continues its fiscal jiggery pokery with its Pharmac announcement today, Labour Health spokesperson Ayesha Verrall says.

“The government has increased Pharmac funding but conceded it will only make minimal increases in access to medicine”, said Ayesha Verrall.

“This is far from the bold promises made to fund cancer medicines pre-election”.

“Associate Minister of Health David Seymour has asserted there is a “$1.774 billion fiscal cliff”. The actual figure published in the pre-election update was $724M and David Seymour is trying to gloss over $1.050 billion of increased costs at Pharmac.

“David Seymour needs to explain why an additional estimated $1.050 billion needs to be spent for the Pharmac budget to stand still.

“Hopeful patients and advocates will welcome this funding – but David Seymour needs to be up front with them about how far it will go.

“Labour increased Pharmac’s budget by 51 per cent over the six years in Government, leading to access to 75 new medicines and widened access to 137 treatments. Labour did more to increase access to medicine than any government before it, and will continue to fight to see the investment in the health of Kiwis continue.

“This is a government that has pledged to remove free prescriptions for New Zealanders – they have promised to destroy access to medicine for millions of people. Today’s talk of fiscal cliffs is merely scapegoating for the funding the Government won’t deliver because they have prioritised tax cuts over properly funding health,” Ayesha Verrall said.