The Herald reports:
Labour and New Zealand First MPs have voted against a select committee inquiry into Pharmac despite desperate pleas from women with advanced breast cancer.
Malcolm Mulholland, the husband of Wiki Mulholland who has breast cancer, was at Parliament today to hear the outcome of the vote.
He was devastated to learn that Labour MPs had voted against the motion from National MP Michael Woodhouse at the health select committee.
He didn’t know how he was going to tell his wife of 20 years, who was one of a number of women with advanced breast cancer who have made emotional pleas over the past few weeks to the committee to push Pharmac to fund two drugs – Ibrance and Kadcyla – and hold an inquiry into the Government’s drug-buying agency.
“I’m just gutted,” he said.
Struggling to control his emotions, Mulholland read from a prepared statement.
“I’m deeply saddened by today’s decision by Labour not to support an inquiry into Pharmac.
“The result of this decision is that people with advanced cancer, including breast cancer, will die sooner than they should. Why? Because the New Zealand system of funding drugs is broken.”
He said the committee’s chairwoman, Labour MP Louisa Wall, had told him an inquiry into Pharmac would be launched and that all Labour members supported it.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has also said she would not stand in the way of an inquiry if the select committee opted to hold one.
If all the Government MPs voted against an inquiry, it will absolutely be because the Government told them to.