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outdoorsnz

119 posts

Master Geek


#264326 16-Jan-2020 13:44
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Shameless plug but a very important one that quite possibly affects many of us either directly or indirectly.

 

Friends of mine Julian and Millie Cox are fighting a big battle to raise awareness to get Pharmac to double the budget to give kiwis access to drugs that may make a big difference to people's lives. They are riding from Dunedin on a tandem bike towing a coffin, via Bluff, via Lumsden around the mountains - Queenstown etc - Central South Island - Kaikoura to Wellington to deliver their message along with signatures collected along the way.

 

Their daughter,  Rachael has cystic fibrosis. So this mission for them is very important.

 

Head over to rip.kiwi to have a good read of their story. Also a good running story of their journey so far with a few smile moments!

 

And please take a moment to sign the petition.

 

Thanks :-)

 

 


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afe66
2445 posts

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  #2399053 16-Jan-2020 14:21
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Are they calling for an increase in tax to pay for it?

 

Im not being difficult but the money has to come from somewhere otherwise its just a case of the money being taken from someone else.

 

In the absence of increasing funds to spend it will come down to a judgement issue of costs vrs benefits which presumably is one of the issues with funding drugs for conditions like CF.

 

Do we spend the money on CF drugs or dialysis etc.

 

 

 

When electioneering comes up later this year, there will be all sorts of calls and promises for extra funding, but at the same time calls for taxes to be cut or things made GST free.

 

 

 

I just wish next time a journalist is interviewing someone, lobbying for extra funding they ask "so are you calling for an increase in tax to fund XYZ".

 

Unpalatable but it has the ring of honesty. Things cost money. If you want more of anything the funds have to come from someone either directly or via reduced services to someone else. "being more efficient" is dodging the issue..


MrAmerica
88 posts

Master Geek


  #2399102 16-Jan-2020 15:53
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afe66:

Are they calling for an increase in tax to pay for it?


Im not being difficult but the money has to come from somewhere otherwise its just a case of the money being taken from someone else.


In the absence of increasing funds to spend it will come down to a judgement issue of costs vrs benefits which presumably is one of the issues with funding drugs for conditions like CF.


Do we spend the money on CF drugs or dialysis etc.


 


When electioneering comes up later this year, there will be all sorts of calls and promises for extra funding, but at the same time calls for taxes to be cut or things made GST free.


 


I just wish next time a journalist is interviewing someone, lobbying for extra funding they ask "so are you calling for an increase in tax to fund XYZ".


Unpalatable but it has the ring of honesty. Things cost money. If you want more of anything the funds have to come from someone either directly or via reduced services to someone else. "being more efficient" is dodging the issue..



I tend to agree with you, however it could be done without raising tax simply by more prudent spending.

Examples would be Shane Jones throwing $3 Billion around the country with his Provincial Growth Fund, first year uni students have spent almost $200 million getting the first year on the tax payer. Winston Peters is shelling out $1 Billion around the Pacific.

Pharmacs current budget is $985 million.

Surely Shane can get himself re-elected with a $2 Billion effectively doubling Pharmacs budget?

 
 
 
 


Fred99
10941 posts

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  #2404520 22-Jan-2020 12:22
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There's a great big global problem with funding (new) medicines, and simply throwing more money to the makers won't solve the issue.

 

Typically these new drugs being sought are monoclonal antibody therapies.  Typically the original research leading to development and marketing wasn't carried out by Big Pharma, but by public (or donation) funded university researchers before being handed over for commercialization.  "The market" is the US citizen with private healthcare cover.  "The price" is a nominal figure plucked out of thin air, and to be as high and unaffordable as possible.  The real price can't be verified, because it's not in the private insurers or pharma companies interest to divulge the cost to manufacture or actual selling price, but it's always going to be high enough to scare the bejesus out of people who don't have insurance, or to entice people who do have insurance to upgrade policy and pay higher premiums.  To deflect criticism for extortionate pricing, the pharma companies typically offer the drug to some patients for free - claiming compassionate reasons, or for "clinical trials" for patients meeting some criteria.  Typically demand is much higher than available places for compassionate pricing and/or clinical trials, and that's exacerbated by demand for the drug as a hopeful "magic bullet" - for example to treat "lung cancer" they drug may have proven efficacy for specific genotypes of specific types but be useless (or even harmful) for others, but "everybody" with lung cancer is going to want to try it anyway, because there's probably nothing else offering possible extension of life or a cure.

 

The system is broken, and it's not something NZ can fix.  There's also the danger that as an explanation for extremely high prices for drugs in the USA, Big Pharma have argued that the drug companies need to charge high prices in the US to offset the low prices they have to offer to centralised drug-buying agencies in social democratic nations, such as Pharmac or NHS in the UK etc.  If that argument is taken to to conclusion with a "MAGA" stance and it's politically advantageous, then to decrease US costs, the US will do whatever is possible to make us pay even more.

 

If Pharmac's budget is increased, Big Pharma are simply going to increase prices.  Systemic under-funding of drug buying agencies is a price negotiating tool. (I'm not saying Pharmac's budget is adequate).

 

This mess is market failure under unrestrained capitalism. 

 

What Martin Shkreli did with Daraprim was perfectly legal extortion - he's in prison for securities fraud, not for knowingly killing people for profit by hiking the price of a life-saving drug.  He was (rightly) condemned globally for what he did, but the main culprit - the system that incentivised him to do what he did - got out of it unscathed and unchanged.


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