Lung Cancer in New Zealand – The Facts

Dear Supporter

Lung cancer kills more people in New Zealand every year, than breast cancer, prostate cancer and melanoma cancer combined, yet it is the least funded. 

Right now, we are witnessing unprecedented suffering and inequity in New Zealand, resulting in premature death for the majority of patients diagnosed with lung cancer.

Sadly, almost 1900 patients in New Zealand DO NOT have an effective first line treatment for advanced lung cancer.

Pharmac, is an instrument of government, yet it has failed to introduce precision led healthcare for cancer care i.e. reimbursement of innovative treatments which are informed by molecular testing. These are FAR SUPERIOR than standard chemotherapy.

Despite lung cancer being NZ’s Biggest Cancer Killer, the top 3 lung cancer drugs funded by Pharmac (2017/18) equates to just 2.3% of the top 5 cancer drugs ($122 million). See infographic which illustrates this staggering imbalance.

It is unacceptable that New Zealanders are being denied access to treatments which are the standard of care abroad.

This lack of care is causing our most vulnerable patients to die prematurely and is the reason we are fighting back.


Please join with us! Support our Fighting Fund for Fairer Lung Cancer Funding.


Sign and share our petition to demand lung cancer is a national health priority, and for more effective treatments to be reimbursed in the public health system.


For 80% of patients diagnosed with lung cancer – access to treatment is access to life.

Yours sincerely

Philip Hope – Chief Executive

Lung Foundation New Zealand


Lung Cancer, New Zealand’s Biggest Cancer Killer – Lung cancer annual mortality rates are five times the NZ Road Roll 

Every day 5 people die of lung cancer and a further 6 people are diagnosed with lung cancer.