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National must address anxiety over Pharmac

Trade Spokesperson

25 October 2011 MEDIA STATEMENT
National must address anxiety over Pharmac

With anxiety over the future of Pharmac clearly building, it is time National allayed people’s fears that the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations will jeopardise New Zealand’s ability to purchase pharmaceuticals at a good price, says Labour’s Trade spokesperson, Maryan Street.

“The protection of Pharmac is a bottom line for Labour. There may be ways in which we can improve the transparency of its processes, but it remains the one protection New Zealanders have against the power of the big pharmaceutical companies,” Maryan Street said.

“John Key needs to reassure the public that we are not giving away our advantage in this area in the face of the extraordinary pressure which these big multinationals will exert in the course of TPP negotiations.

“So far, the Prime Minister has only created more alarm amongst the public who pay attention to these matters, and to health professionals who are expressing their concern about the future of Pharmac.

“The Labour Party supports moving forward with the TPP, but does not support signing it at all costs. Retaining our effective drug-buying agency, which is envied by many countries, is essential.

“If it is true that the US has proposed texts which effectively bind parties on drug-pricing, then we need to be clear that New Zealand retains the right to make up its own public health policy and not have that sovereignty negotiated away in a trade agreement,” said Maryan Street.

Authorised by Maryan Street MP, Parliament Buildings, Wellington

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