In the last few months we've been privileged to be part of the MyLifeMatters campaign where organisations, individuals, patients and supporters have come together collaboratively to advocate and make a difference to what is described as the 'medications crisis' in Aotearoa. Advocacy for improved medications and technology for treatment of diabetes has formed a strong part of the mahi of Diabetes Foundation Aotearoa in recent years, and the opportunity to add our voice to that of many others has been invaluable.
The MyLifeMatters roadshow and pre-election efforts came to a culmination in a well attended meeting in Auckland earlier this week. Our Board Chair Dr John Baker talked about the experience advocating for diabetes medications over the years and how much still needs to be done. A debate hosted by Guyon Espiner between five representatives of major parties gave a chance to question their intentions regarding the drug buying agency Pharmac. Probably one of the most memorable aspects though were the personal stories from the audience adding the human side to a debate which commonly is about of numbers and reasons to be cautious. The link to the videos of the event are here. 1) Part 1 and 2) Part 2 Debate
In the words of campaign organiser Malcolm Mulholland, whose tireless work has raised and kept this vital conversation (and hope) going, "we leave no-one behind". It's well overdue that Pharmac understood that it is currently leaving far too many New Zealanders behind.