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Sign the petition: Fund treatments for Kiwis with severe Crohn’s disease and colitis

Wednesday, August 26, 2020   Posted in: Signatory Notice Board By: Administrator With tags: community engagement, disease, funding, medical, petition

Crohn's & Colitis New Zealand Charitable Trust (CCNZ) is asking for your support of a petition to Parliament on behalf of the New Zealand community of over 20,000 patients who live with Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis (Crohn’s and Colitis) - in partnership with the New Zealand Society of Gastroenterology.

The petition is being led by gastroenterologist and CCNZ Chairman Dr Richard Stein who is asking the Government to urgently fund standard, up-to-date treatment - like ustekinumab (Stelara) - for patients with severe Crohn’s and Colitis, for whom all other funded medications available in NZ have failed.

Pharmac’s decision not to fund these mainstream treatments that are routinely funded throughout the world is considered to be both outrageous and disgraceful, and CCNZ intends to campaign vigorously for this to change.

Without access to up-to-date medications, the current pathway for patients for whom all funded treatments have failed is emergency hospitalisations, irreversible surgeries to remove sections of the bowel, and permanent stoma bags for many. Condemning people - most of whom are children, teens, and young adults - in this way to a life of chronic pain and social isolation is not only appallingly unnecessary, but is a heavy cost to the health system and the economy.

Medical professionals are deeply distressed to see their patients condemned to this kind of future, when they know there are treatments available that could give them the possibility of normal, productive and fulfilling lives.

CCNZ and the NZ Society of Gastroenterology are encouraging our community of colleagues, patients and their families to raise this issue as forcefully as possible during this election campaign, and we wanted to ensure you are fully briefed on the issue.

Find out how you can support the #wecantwait campaign.

What is means to live with severe Crohn's disease and colitis

Imagine having an aggressive disease that causes you to live with chronic pain, urgent bloody diarrhoea, repeated hospitalisations and life-altering surgeries - while you long for a normal, fulfilling work and family life. But the standard, mainstream medication you need is not funded in New Zealand. So you go on living this life, suffering in silence. We can't wait anymore.

Sign the petition to urge the Government to provide funding for this life changing drug for those with severe Crohn's disease and colitis.

Thank you for your support!

Find out more about the Crohn's & Colitis New Zealand Charitable Trust.

Get more information on the New Zealand Society of Gastroenterology.

Read the CCNZ/ New Zealand Society of Gastroenterology media release on this petition.