Women dying of breast cancer will be sharing their "heart-felt" stories with members of parliament next month amid a campaign calling for the funding of two life-saving drugs.

A 32,000-signature petition calling for the funding of Ibrance, and another petition for breast cancer drug Kadcycla, were presented to parliament in October last year.

In response, Pharmac and the Ministry of Health will be appearing before the Health Select Committee on Wednesday.

Then, on March 13 and 20, a number of women battling the deadly disease will appear before the committee to tell their stories.


Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition (BCAC) chair Libby Burgess, who is helping lead the campaign, said it was important for MPs to see and hear first-hand from real people who are personally and deeply affected.

Since the petition a number of women have already died, Burgess said.

"This is a tragedy. More will die before decisions are made," she said.

International expert in advanced breast cancer (ABC), Dr Fatima Cardoso, visited New Zealand earlier this month and spoke at the Cancer Crossroads conference in Wellington.

Cardoso challenged New Zealand to do better in treating the disease, noting that the survival rates were lower than most developed countries.

"In countries where drugs like these are available, metastatic patients (those with ABC) can sometimes live eight, nine, 10 years. So this is unacceptable that a country like New Zealand has a one-year median survival for these patients," Cardoso said.

At the October march, the petition and letter demanded a review of Pharmac and were received by 17 MPs, who met the marchers on the steps of Parliament.