New medicine funding something to celebrate – but there’s a long way to go

Rodger Tiedemann, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Auckland and a consultant haematologist with Auckland Hospital’s cancer and blood service, highlights the critical underinvestment in modern medicines in New Zealand.

He commends the coalition Government’s recent pledge to allocate $642 million over the next four years for new cancer treatments and non-cancer medicines, which is expected to benefit thousands of New Zealanders.

However, he underscores that despite this investment, New Zealand remains significantly behind other OECD countries in medicine reimbursement, reflecting chronic underfunding. This gap has led to limited access to life-extending and curative treatments, necessitating further substantial investment to bring the country’s healthcare up to par with global standards.

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