News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Hospital specialists sound alarm over trade agreement

Hospital specialists sound alarm over trade agreement

Media release: Thursday, 27 February

Senior Christchurch hospital doctors are the latest group to raise concerns about the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), currently being negotiated between New Zealand and 11 other countries.

Christchurch Psychiatrist Dr Erik Monasterio, who has spoken out this week against the TPPA, says there is another concerning aspect to the agreement.

“From what we have seen from leaked documents, under this agreement, pharmaceutical companies would have the right to appeal any and all of Pharmac’s decisions. Just as an American drug company recently sued the Canadian government for $500 million over an allegedly poorly performing medication the Canadians no longer wanted to fund, New Zealand could find itself constantly embroiled in costly international lawsuits that could suck millions more dollars out of our health system.”

Christchurch Hospitals’ Medical Staff Association Chair, Dr Ruth Spearing, says doctors are deeply concerned that the agreement could lead to out-of-control medication prices, and less money to go around for health services.

“This agreement is all about opening things up for multinational drug companies and making it easier for them to do business here, with as few restrictions as possible. This is exactly the reason Pharmac was established in the first place. Pharmac was created to keep medication prices down, and generate savings that now fund services right throughout the health system.”

“Pharmac savings fund everything from low cost GP visits, screening and vaccinations through to medications, blood tests, hip replacements and cataracts. If a service, test, procedure, treatment or medication gets a government subsidy, this Trade Agreement potentially threatens our ability to provide it to all who need it, in the future.”

Dr Spearing agrees with Auckland Cancer Specialist Dr George Laking, that the TPPA is a ‘lose/lose’ for patients.

“The drug companies are the only winners. Presently, we pay relatively low amounts for medication in New Zealand, as a system and as patients. The big concern with the TPPA is that it’s going to give pharmaceutical companies unfair advantages in the market. This risks a free-for-all that could lead to higher prescription prices at the cash register, or services being cut back.”

Senior Respiratory Physician Lutz Beckert reminds people that it will affect many other aspects of health. “The TPPA may put business principles of protecting the intellectual property rights of branding cigarettes or protecting the ‘business investment’ of their retail infrastructure ahead of the protection of people who smoke.”

Dr Alistair Humphrey adds, “New Zealand will no longer have be able to influence really worthwhile public health policies – these will be in the hands of American/International companies."

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Game Review: Midsomer Murders Meets First Year Philosophy

Developed by The Chinese Room, Everybody's Gone to the Rapture sees the player exploring what appears to be a recently abandoned idyllic English village trying to figure out where everybody's gone. Spoiler: they've gone to the rapture. (On a serious note, this review contains plot spoilers.) More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Clear Science

It was really after his move to Wellington, to Victoria University, that it became apparent that Sir Paul Cllaghan was much more than an eminent physicist... More>>

ALSO:

Francis Cook: Weekend SportzMania! All Blacks! Netball!

Sports were on all weekend. I normally don’t write about sports but with Richie McCaw tipped to be the next Prime Minister, and Colin Craig arguing sports are almost as important as politics, I thought “what better time to start!” More>>

ALSO:

Beervana: Aussie Pav Beer Declared Taste Of NZ

In a surprising upset, an Australian beer modelled on the pavlova, created by Brisbane brewery Newstead Brewing, the 250 Beers blog and Scratch Bar, has been announced the winner at the Beervana craft beer festival ‘Flag Brew’ competition, which challenged media and brewing teams to capture the distinctive taste of New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Transport: Air NZ Teams Up With All Blacks For Men In Black Video

Inspired by the Columbia Pictures global film franchise Men in Black, Air New Zealand’s latest safety instalment features All Blacks’ Captain Richie McCaw and Dan Carter as Men in Black agents. More>>

ALSO:

World Champions: BRADAS Of Identity Company Take On The World And Win Gold

This is only the second time since NZ has qualified for the HHI world finals that NZ has taken home a GOLD medal in this division. REQUEST Dance Crew being the only other NZ crew to achieve this. New Zealands only other medal this year was Silver for the Royal Family in a very close final in the Megacrew division. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Contrary To Popular Belief - Lloyd Geering

Many older Dunediners like myself, and indeed older Presbyterians and others throughout the country, will remember the controversy aroused by the articles and speeches of Professor Geering, Principal of Knox College Theological Hall in the late 1960s... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news