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Fine print keeps cancer drug from wāhine
@Malcolm Mullholland

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Women struggling with breast cancer are challenging the health and Māori affairs select committees to deliver on a promise to review the activities of drug buying agency Pharmac.

The women were told Pharmac will fund the drug Ibrance for first line treatment ... but they don’t qualify because their doctors have already started them on other treatments.

Malcolm Mulholland, whose wife Wiki is battling stage four breast cancer, says that means a lot of whānau will be sitting round the table this Christmas trying to identify what sacrifices they can make to get the $7000 a month needed to pay for treatment.

He says it’s not the response they hoped for at parliament in October when select committee chairs Louisa Wall and Rino Tirikatene accepted their petition calling for an inquiry.

"Louisa Wall got up, grabbed the loudhailer, and said 'We stand here in your support of an inquiry into Pharmac.' We are still waiting for what if at all they are going to go ahead with that inquiry, and that is what we are really disappointed with when it comes to the health select committee," Mr Mulholland says.

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