Children's Commissioner tells Pharmac
Children's Commissioner Andrew Becroft is warning Pharmac not to play one group of children with a life-threatening illness off against another.
His comments come after RNZ revealed that Pharmac is likely to end the blanket provision of child cancer drugs.
Pharmac says it has long viewed the special exemption for child cancer drugs as "inconsistent" but it was jolted into finally addressing the issue in response to a discrimination claim taken under the Human Rights Act.
Patient advocate Fiona Tolich took a discrimination claim, asking why Pharmac was funding all child cancer drugs but would not fund Spinraza for about 35 children with spinal muscular atrophy, a deadly genetic condition.
Patient Voice Aotearoa chair Malcolm Mulholland said he was appalled at Pharmac's action.
"I felt physically ill. I just could not believe that Pharmac is going to go down this road."
Pharmac said no final decisions had been made but the most likely outcome of its review would be to bring child cancer drugs into the normal Pharmac process.