Northlanders have lent their support to a petition presented to Parliament calling for more funding for government drug-buying agency Pharmac.
The Lie Down For Life petition, presented by Patient Voice Aotearoa on Wednesday, calls for the Government to conduct an external reform of Pharmac, and to double the budget Pharmac receives in next week's budget, with a plan to triple the budget of Pharmac within two years.
The petition had well over 100,000 signatures when it was presented to the Government.
A group of Northlanders - some with medical conditions that were not adequately covered, if at all, by Pharmac - supported the petition with a symbolic Lie Down for Life rally in Whangārei's Laurie Hall Park on Wednesday.
Organiser of the Whangārei rally Richard Soper said the reason for the petition was because New Zealand is currently bottom of all 20 OECD countries in gaining access to much needed medication to save people's lives.
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''Unfortunately some of these drugs have been on the list for up to 14 or 17 years and in this time many lives have been lost unnecessarily,'' Soper said.
He said in the group at the Laurie Hall Park rally were two people who suffer from cystic fibrosis - one his wife Erana, the other a small child who is at the beginning of his life.
Drugs like Trikafta (used around the world to treat cystic fibrosis) is not a funded drug in New Zealand at this time, but Soper said it would give people the opportunity and hope for a future.
''It is not only for people with cystic fibrosis but is an issue for people suffering cancer, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, among many other diseases.''