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Govt leaves woman unable to have kids after not making drug available.

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MEDIA RELEASE Tuesday August 10 2010


Family First Leader Senator Steve Fielding has labelled the Federal Government a disgrace after it decided not to act on its own recommendation to help a terminally ill woman and put a potentially life saving drug on to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

Senator Fielding’s comments came as he and the Family First candidate for Deakin, Peter Lake, visited terminally ill Jenny Sturrock at her Heathmont home.

Ms Sturrock suffers from a rare blood disorder known as Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria (PNH) and needs the drug Soliris to prolong her life.

“The drug which Jenny desperately needs was recommended for funding by the Pharmaceutical Advisory Committee yet the Government has just closed its eyes and turned its back on her,” Senator Fielding said.

“We’ve got a well-respected committee recommending funding to go ahead but we’ve got a stingy government which doesn’t seem to care about people’s lives.

“Only 80 people need this drug across the country so it's not going to cost the Government an arm and a leg and I see no reason for the Government to hold up listing it on the PBS.

“I can’t imagine what must go through Jenny’s head knowing that she can’t experience the joy of having kids unless she has access to the medication.”

Mr Lake said it deeply saddened to have someone living in his area struggling through life when it could be easily prevented by just a simple drug.

“I want to get into politics so people like Ms Sturrock can have a voice and to hold the Government to account for its own recommendations,” Mr Lake said.

“There is a simple fix to this problem and that is to stick the drug on the PBS.

“People who are sick shouldn’t have to run around and get a petition happening just so they can get access to a life saving drug.”

To purchase without the help of the PBS Soliris costs $20,000 a month.

Mrs Sturrock is 29 years old and married in March 2010.

For media enquiries phone Kane Silom on 0409 550 446