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Medicines NZ Welcomes Fourth TPP Negotiation Round

Medicines New Zealand Welcomes Fourth TPP Negotiation Round

Medicines New Zealand is closely following the fourth round of negotiations for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) being held in Auckland this week.

“As the organisation representing innovative pharmaceutical companies in New Zealand we hope that the negotiations will lead to a high quality, comprehensive agreement that scores wins for all the parties” Medicines New Zealand Chief Executive Denise Wood says. “Free trade leads to better global cooperation, competition and economic growth.”

Addressing media interest in the question of PHARMAC reform in the context of the TPP negotiations, Mrs Wood noted that it is absolutely not the case that the industry wants to see PHARMAC dismantled. “The pharmaceutical industry works constructively with bulk purchasing agencies in many markets around the world and such models are common place. That said, the pharmaceutical industry believes if there was greater prioritisation of health outcomes in New Zealand – prevention, treatment and early intervention – through better access to innovative medicines, there would be savings across the health sector and all the other benefits of keeping people healthy, productive and able to enjoy a good quality life.

MedicinesNZ has noted in the past that on average, OECD countries spend 18% of their health budgets on pharmaceuticals. New Zealand’s expenditure on pharmaceuticals as a percentage of the total health budget – around 6% - places it almost at the bottom of the OECD. The result of this is that, in some instances, New Zealand patients do not have access to the most appropriate medicine to treat their condition or miss out on treatments altogether. Unless they do the research themselves, it may be difficult for the average Kiwi to even be aware that there is a drug to treat a problem

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Mrs Wood commented that “New Zealand needs to formally acknowledge the role of pharmaceuticals in reducing other costs in the healthcare system and the role of innovative medicines in delivering the best possible health outcomes. We would like to see procurement and pricing policies examined in that context.”

Speaking about what the pharmaceutical industry would like to see, Ms Wood said “the industry seeks an environment where New Zealand’s pharmaceutical management agency is more accountable, transparent and more open to innovative medicines.” She stressed that small changes to the PHARMAC model, along the lines of those negotiated in other trade agreements would improve the situation.

ENDS

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