Treatment inequity

LETTER

On TV3’s AM Show this morning the debate for access to immunotherapy drugs via Pharmac was pretty strong.

A couple from Dunedin were going to Australia to get access to this special treatment, which is not available here unless you have advanced melanoma or pay outrageously for it.

People with breast cancer pay $5000 a month privately and for lung cancer I had to pay, including accommodation and travel etc, $8500 for each injection.

The purpose of this letter is to show you how stupid all this is.

A regular writer to The Gisborne Herald has a son in Australia who is the manager and person who administers this special drug to Australians.

And he comes from Gisborne! How crazy is that? His son saw me on a recent visit and discussed treating me over there.

I coughed up the money, which hurt us heavily in our retirement, and was treated privately in Tauranga.

All the best to all cancer sufferers, especially those in this region — which has the greatest number of sufferers in New Zealand relative to population.

Alain Jorion

Ambassader, Lung Foundation NZ

On TV3’s AM Show this morning the debate for access to immunotherapy drugs via Pharmac was pretty strong.

A couple from Dunedin were going to Australia to get access to this special treatment, which is not available here unless you have advanced melanoma or pay outrageously for it.

People with breast cancer pay $5000 a month privately and for lung cancer I had to pay, including accommodation and travel etc, $8500 for each injection.

The purpose of this letter is to show you how stupid all this is.

A regular writer to The Gisborne Herald has a son in Australia who is the manager and person who administers this special drug to Australians.

And he comes from Gisborne! How crazy is that? His son saw me on a recent visit and discussed treating me over there.

I coughed up the money, which hurt us heavily in our retirement, and was treated privately in Tauranga.

All the best to all cancer sufferers, especially those in this region — which has the greatest number of sufferers in New Zealand relative to population.

Alain Jorion

Ambassader, Lung Foundation NZ

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