Budget 2019: Breast cancer drug advocates say human life 'not prioritised'

Breast cancer drug advocates Wiki and Malcolm Mulholland say it's a "kick in the guts" the Government is not investing any further funds into Pharmac.

"All we want to do is have access to the medicine that we need so we can live," Wiki, who is battling stage four breast cancer, told The AM Show.

Thursday's 'Wellbeing Budget' announcement did not allocate any money to those women battling late-stage breast cancer.

Health Minister Dr David Clark said on Thursday an early access fund outside of the Budget was still in the works.

Wiki's husband Malcolm said in the meantime, sufferers are dying sooner than they should.

The couple have pleaded with the Government and Pharmac to fund a drug called Ibrnace, which is used to treat advanced breast cancer.

"I just want New Zealanders to reflect upon that statement," Malcolm told The AM Show on Friday. "In New Zealand patients die sooner than they should - not just in cancer but a whole raft of diseases."

The AM Show host Duncan Garner said it was "downright insensitive, mean and hopelessly out of touch" giving suffering women little hope.

Malcolm told The AM Show he couldn't think of any "wellbeing" framework that didn't prioritise human life.

"We were hoping for a big cash injection," he said. "To get even close to what Australia spend, we actually need to double it per year - that's how far back we are."

Wiki said it was hugely disappointing; "We're in a fight for our lives".

It felt like a "kick in the guts", she added.

On Wednesday, Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition chairperson Libby Burgess told Newshub if the Government was serious about wellbeing, it had to start investing in medicines.

Dr Clark said the Government had started work for an early access fund.

"That work is not mature yet," he told The AM Show on Thursday. "That is an ongoing piece of work."