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Home arrow Human Interest arrow Local arrow New drug offers hope for those battling arthritis
New drug offers hope for those battling arthritis PDF Print
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Human Interest - Local
Written by Lindy Laird, The Northern Advocate   
Tuesday, 04 August 2009

At rear: Sophie, Libby and Zoe and their mum Lesley Armstrong-Jennings. Picture/John Stone

Northland arthritis sufferers are celebrating a decision to fund an expensive new drug, saying it  could give them a new lease on life.

The new drug - which costs more than $20,000 a year - has been subsidised in Australia and the United Kingdom for years but until now was available in New Zealand only for a few types of arthritis.

People who missed out because they had the "wrong kind" of arthritis said the funding rules were discriminatory and unfair.  However, from August 1, the new drug - sold under the brand name Humira - will be subsidised for a much wider range of conditions.

Lesley Armstrong-Jennings, who runs an online retailing business from her home in Ngunguru, has suffered from arthritis for  five years.

Lesley Armstrong-Jennings, who runs an online retailing business from her home in Ngunguru, has suffered from arthritis for  five years. Pain has spread to all her joints - especially her shoulders, hips and feet - and at times she has difficulty walking, not to mention keeping up her job or looking after four children, including 12-year-old triplets.

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