Grey Power Concerned about Secret Talks on TPPA
Grey Power Concerned about Secret Talks on TPPA.
Grey Power is concerned that the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations are being held behind closed doors and that very little information is available to the public.
The Chair of the Grey Power NZ Inc. sub-committee to consider this issue, Miles Jackson said that “the only information that is accessible to those who elected the negotiators to office is from leaked documents. This makes one wonder what is being hidden.
One possibility is that New Zealand could lose its sovereignty if the agreement is signed; notwithstanding the fact that during World War 2 from 1939 to 1945, many New Zealanders gave their health and in fact their lives to defend the right of democracy; to be free from dictatorship. Therefore I believe to sign an agreement such as the TPPA secretly, especially if it is based on the profit motive, negates the sacrifices made by those men and women.
I have heard stories of possible profiteering where some United States pharmaceutical companies are advocating for longer copyright periods for their products. This would result in higher profits for them and their shareholders and delay the introduction of generic substitutes which are less expensive to purchase, this, in turn, would undermine Pharmac’s effectiveness in providing cost-effective generic prescription drugs, not only for the elderly, but for all New Zealanders.”
Mr Jackson also said that “the New Zealand Government recently increased the cost per prescription item from $3.00 payment to $5.00 and when I questioned some people about this, they said they could not afford to pick up their prescribed drugs. This is of real concern, and leads us to ask if New Zealand signs a TPPA which results in increased prescription charges, will the government be prepared to pick up the extra cost by way of a subsidy?”
Grey Power calls on the government to be open and inform all New Zealanders about what the negotiations entail particularly around the purchasing of drugs.