Rural Women New Zealand congratulates Pharmac’s decision to provide Iressa as a targeted treatment for non-squamous advanced non-small cell lung cancer. This is a boon for rural patients who will qualify for this simple pill for their treatment.
“Having cancer is distressing enough and for rural patients and their families and having to travel long distances to receive treatment is an added burden”, says RWNZ spokesperson for health, Kerry Maw. “As an organisation that advocates for access and equity we often hear of the difficulties families have in receiving first-line treatment for serious illnesses. So having a simple pill they can take at home will make it that much easier for people to cope with an illness.”
“However, when people are taking such medication at home we believe it’s really important that they are well supported by practice/district nurses or homecare workers”, says Mrs Maw.
Rural Women New Zealand is hopeful that this new treatment option is a lead-in to other similar developments in health service delivery (such as the Integrated Family Health Centres), which gives more choice to rural families, allowing them to receive treatment closer to or at home.