Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Government Must Promise NZ Won’t Cave On Pharmac In TPPA

7 February 2013

For immediate release

Government Must Promise NZ Won’t Cave On Pharmac In TPPA

‘The government needs to come clean on whether it plans to cave in to US demands on medicines in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), due to reconvene in Singapore in early March’, says Professor Jane Kelsey who monitors the negotiations.

Last November Trade Minister Tim Groser signalled to the Americans that New Zealand was willing to be ‘flexible’ on new disciplines for Pharmac.

This could mean one of two things. New Zealand would either concede to US demands in the intellectual property chapter, especially pharmaceutical patents, or to the rights of Big Phrma and its local branch to have a stronger say in Pharmac’s decision-making process in the name of ‘transparency’.

It seemed pretty clear from the Minister’s statement in late November that the Cabinet had already made a decision, in secret, or was about to do so.

‘This makes no sense, given the government’s insistence that it requires genuine and substantial concessions on dairy market access to the US. The American chief negotiator reported after the Auckland round that they haven’t had any serious talks about dairy with New Zealand and are in no hurry to do so.’

Professor Kelsey noted that ‘the stakes are huge. PHARMAC's latest annual report shows it has saved the New Zealand taxpayer $5 billion over the past 12 years and expanded access to medicines while staying within budget.’

‘Giving up the fight on patents, for example, would hike up the price of medicines significantly, especially if it impacts on access to much cheaper generics’.

Professor Kelsey challenged the government to state publicly that it is not planning to give way on Pharmac in either respect, ahead of the next round in Singapore.

‘Once a concession is tabled it would be almost impossible to withdraw’.

‘The public health community should be up in arms about the imminent prospect of such a behind-closed-doors assault on affordable medicines. The Labour Party has said Pharmac is a red line. It is time it put the government on the mat to get assurances that it will not table a position that gives way on either patents or transparency.’

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On Donald Trump, And Dr Dre

For the past few months, you, me, and Rupert Murdoch have been waiting for the wheels to fall off the Trump campaign, and for some drab incarnation of business-as-usual (Jeb Bush, Scott Walker) to emerge as the real Republican standard bearer in next year’s presidential election... More>>

ALSO:

Hiroshima: 70 Years On, The Nuclear Threat Looms As Large As Ever

Rumours had been circulating in Hiroshima that the city was being saved for something special. It was. The burst of ionising radiation, blast, heat and subsequent firestorm that engulfed the city on August 6 killed 140,000 people by the end of 1945. More>>

ALSO:

#FutureOfNews: Challenge & Solution - A ''New Scoop''

The development of Scoop's new "Ethical Paywall" approach to licensing commercial use of its news content and addressing the current State of the NZ News Media and the challenges being faced news media everywhere. More>>

ALSO:

Lyndon Hood: God Defend The National Anthem

Recently Labour leader Andrew Little said – deliberately, I think – that he didn't like New Zealand's national anthem and many New Zealanders preferred to sing along to the Australian one. More>>

Keith Rankin: Centenary Of The Battle For Chunuk Bair

I don't agree with the view that our national identity was forged at Gallipoli, despite the rah-rah about this in the week leading up to Anzac Day... What concerns me now, however, is our lack of respect for our own history. Why have we switched off? More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: Pitch Perfect

Among his other blessings, Pope Francis has been a gift to the world of marketing studies. There can be few other examples where a leader has transformed the perception of an enterprise so thoroughly, but without making any discernible change to its core principles. More>>

ALSO:

US Politics: The Democrats Try To Engage With America (Again)

Venues are being rebooked to accommodate the thousands of people coming to listen to Vermont Senator, avowed socialist, and presidential aspirant Bernie Sanders talk about the redistribution of wealth. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news