Concern proposed bill may make cancer medication unaffordable for Kiwis


7 October 2019 - Every three months, a package containing cancer medication arrives at Trevor Gately's Nelson home from India.

The 73-year-old was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2016. A form of blood cancer, it causes cancer cells to accumulate in the bone marrow, where they crowd out healthy blood cells.

After his initial treatment, 16 weeks of chemotherapy followed by stem cell treatment then another round of chemo, Gately was given the choice of taking a prescription drug, lenalidomide, to keep the cancer at bay. It costs around $6500 for a months supply in New Zealand, but purchasing a generic form of the the same drug online from Shubham Pharmaceutical in India costs $280.

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Michael Wonder

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Michael Wonder