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Groser’s ‘ugly compromise’ in TPPA could cost New Zealanders

Groser’s ‘ugly compromise’ in TPPA could cost New Zealanders’ lives

3rd October

‘We are told they may be close to reaching a final deal on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) in Atlanta, and longer monopolies for Big Pharma over biologic medicines is the final sticking point’, according to Professor Jane Kelsey, who is in touch with people on the ground in Atlanta.

The US is insisting on eight years total monopoly protection. Several countries are holding firm. But there are real fears New Zealand could cave.

Trade Minister Groser is quoted in this morning’s Herald as saying every country will have to swallow multiple dead rats to finalise the deal in an ‘ugly compromise’.

‘In New Zealand’s case, the dead rat seems to be a dairy for medicines deal’, said Professor Kelsey. ‘If this happens, we can expect the Minister to hail the "net benefits" of the TPPA to New Zealand, playing up supposed gains to dairy exports that remain to be seen, and playing down New Zealand’s agreement to longer monopoly protection for biologics.’

‘But the stark reality is that any such deal to close the TPPA would cost New Zealander’s lives.’

Health economists calculate that every added year of protection for biologics would cost New Zealand many tens of millions of dollars in current spending, and much more in the future as more biologics come on stream.

‘Future New Zealand governments would have to stump up hundreds of millions of dollars more to Pharmac. Yet this year the National government refused to fund even the modest budget increase Pharmac sought to meet rising costs.’

‘Cancer sufferers in Atlanta described the biologics provision as a “death sentence clause”. Do Prime Minister Key and Minister Groser want that recorded as their legacy?’

ENDS

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