Duncan Garner's desperate plea to Jacinda Ardern over cancer funding

  • 07/08/2018

Duncan Garner has made an emotional appeal to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to review Pharmac and prevent unnecessary cancer deaths.

Cancer Society's Dr Chris Jackson told Newshub New Zealand is lagging behind and the matter needs immediate attention.

"What's clear is that 2500 New Zealanders died from cancer whose lives could have been saved if they were treated in Australia over the course of the last five years," he said.

Speaking on Tuesday, The AM Show host recalled the toll of losing his father and watching his mother go through treatment.

"Can you please review Pharmac, can you please do the right thing by New Zealanders. If you say you care about New Zealanders, like you do - and you have all the empathy in the world, Prime Minister - please can you do one more review and make sure it's thorough," he said.

"What it's [Pharmac] doing, why it's doing it and why it isn't getting access - as our oncologist said - to the best and most available drugs in the world.

"There are people dying, mums and dads and brothers and sisters... who are dying. People who are dying who could be saved by these drugs. Why, when we all pay our tax and work so hard in this country... are we not getting access to these drugs."

Host Amanda Gillies agreed, saying the current situation "shouldn't happen".

"So many cancer patients... they're having to sell their homes, they're having to eat, some of them, all of their retirement funds," she said.

"The other one I thought broke my heart is so many can't afford their cancer treatment so they're saying 'look, just give me some anti-depressants' because that will at least take away the stress and anxiety."