The Prime Minister’s admission today that the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) will hike the cost of medicine in New Zealand is yet another reason why we need to immediately withdraw from the dead-end deal, the Green Party said today.
“John Key has been pretending throughout the TPPA negotiations that the deal won’t damage our public health system, but he has finally come clean and admitted that the TPPA will mean medicines cost more in New Zealand,” said Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague.
“The Government needs to tell the New Zealand public how Pharmac’s going to suddenly find millions of dollars to fund these more expensive medicines without passing those costs on to everyday Kiwis at the pharmacy counter.
“New Zealanders should not have to pay more for their medicine because the Government is determined to have something to show for the thousands of hours they’ve spent negotiating this dead-end deal.
“We should be protecting our public health system, not selling it down the river for a trade agreement that’s going to line the pockets of overseas corporations.
“Medical professionals, who work every day with our sickest and most vulnerable people, have been saying for a long time that the TPPA will put patients and our public health system at risk, and raise the cost of medicine, but the Government has stubbornly refused to engage with them.
“The TPPA will restrict Pharmac in small ways that in aggregate will substantially weaken its negotiating position, leading to more expensive medicines and poorer access to prescription drugs for New Zealanders, and a poorer standard of medical care across the board.
“This is a make or break moment for our public health system.
“The history books will judge John Key’s Government very harshly for allowing the TPPA to erode our public health system,” said Mr Hague.