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Dismantling Pharmac’s power a betrayal of NZ

Andrew Little
Opposition Leader

Dismantling Pharmac’s power a betrayal of NZ

John Key’s National Government is betraying New Zealanders by trading away Pharmac’s long-term buying power, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says.

“Today John Key finally admitted that medicines will cost more under the TPP his Government is negotiating, despite months of assurances by him and his Trade Minister.

“As recently as last month Tim Groser said he wouldn’t sign up to ‘undermine a central pillar of our public health system – Pharmac’. Today John Key put the lie to that.

“Pharmac’s purchasing power has saved New Zealanders more than $7 billion dollars since 2000. Multi-national pharmaceutical companies will be cheering at this news and New Zealand taxpayers are the ones losing out.

“It is disingenuous of the Prime Minister to say consumers won’t be affected – who does he think taxpayers are? Any extension of drug patents will inevitably lead to less medicines being available to New Zealanders including biologics, the latest in cancer drugs.

“John Key must be straight with New Zealanders and come clean about what other New Zealand rights and institutions he is negotiating away in secret.

“Kiwis deserve to know what is in the TPP before it is signed. Anything else is a sell-out,” says Andrew Little.

ENDS

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