John Key Admits Medicines Will Cost More Under TPPA

More expensive medicines are in New Zealand’s “best interests” says John Key, millionaire and ex Merril Lynch executive

Bad news today for many New Zealand families already struggling to pay for expensive medications – the prices are likely to rise when the TPPA is passed.

In another one of those ‘through the looking glass momentsPrime Minister John Key has conceded New Zealand will have to pay more for some medicines under the Trans-Pacific Partnership, but somehow that will be in the country’s “best interests.” (He means “in the the best interests of  Kiwi exporters” Ed.). source.

Apparently, patent protection will be extended, meaning that generics will take longer to come onto the market (around 5 years or more). This will causesausing prices to rise and many new drugs will continue to be unavailable in New Zealand until their generic versions are released. This protects the massive investments that drug companies put into developing new treatments and allows more time to profit from them.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”>

New Zealand signing the TPPA?src=hash”>#TPPA could mean that we get slower access to new cancer or arthritis medicines. #TPPANoWay

— Green Party NZ (@NZGreens) July 29, 2015

Mr Key rejected criticism the deal would be bad for New Zealand, saying by opening up other markets this country’s exporters would benefit.

But he said there was a high probability patents on medicines would be extended under the deal, which would push up the price the Government would have to pay for them.

In February this year clinicians sounded the alarm bell about New Zealanders being too complacent over the TPPA. They said expensive meds were going to lead to deaths for low income people. That is something that has a particularly poignant for many people already struggling in New Zealand’s low wage economy.

A co-author of an article in medical journal The Lancet says New Zealanders are far too complacent about the implications of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).

Dr Erik Monasterio, a senior psychiatrist, said the article urged the Government to release the negotiating documents for the free trade deal, allowing more debate on their impact on the cost of medicine.

Dr Monasterio said the Government had signalled that the negotiations are entering their final phase, with the next round of talks due next month.

“If we were able to see those negotiation documents, particular at end-game stage, we could have a more helpful, robust and mature discussion because then we could be on an even playing field.”

He said leaked papers showed the negotiations would lead to deaths worldwide as the price of medicine became too expensive for low income people

The article has been signed by dozens of top clinicians from each country involved in the TPP. source

The TPPA will allow companies to sue governments for any legislation they think will damage their profits.

This effectively overrides New Zealand’s constitution and present pricing structures. As if goods and services in New Zealand weren’t already over priced enough, companies outside of the country will soon call the shots with price tags.

What does this mean for you? Well, if you’re emigrating from a country with subsidised prescription medicine or flat rate script fees (the UK, for example) expect to pay big bucks for something you’ve taken for granted.

Expect to find your particular brand is not stocked in New Zealand because it’s too expensive, or be prepared to put up with the nearest generic substitute that your local pharmacist decides to sell you. But take comfort that in so doing, you’re doing your bit to help the country’s exporters sell their beef, dairy and lumber.

You may also be interested in

Who can trust John Key, and the TPPA?2015) (March 2015):-

…Robert Amsterdam, a Canadian international lawyer of the law firm Amsterdam & Partners, has written a very incisive article about Prime Minister Key. This was published on his own site…

As highlighted by Professor Jane Kelsey, the lies and deceit take on an added significance in light of the secret negotiations surrounding the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), a free trade deal that threatens the country’s sovereignty over its trade and many other areas of its economy.

When governments feel that they can use mass surveillance tools for whatever project they choose, how long will it be before National’s top financial supporters begin requesting intelligence on business competitors? After all, the U.S. government has already been caught using surveillance against Google, Petrobras, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), among others.  It’s no wonder that Mr. Key feels he should enjoy impunity to use surveillance beyond legal limitations… read on

Kiwis missing out on vital medicines, with fatal consequences (May 2010) :-

Little known impacts of New Zealand’s low population and frugal economy are the restrictions placed on the funding of health care and the inability to recruit and retain staff. It has resulted in dire shortages of trained medical staff and  the over reliance on locums at considerable expense to DHB’s that are often  struggling with massive budget blow-outs. No wonder those immigration medicals are so stringent, New Zealand isn’t a country to become sick in.

Kate Newton in the Dominion Post today writes about a new Government report that confirms that high cost, novel drugs aren’t being made available in New Zealand and some low-cost, but highly specialised drugs, are difficult to access too.  It appears that New Zealanders are not being given access to  medicines that are available in countries such as Australia, with fatal consequences: (Also read Tocilizumab, Drug to Treat Castleman’s Disease ‘Not Funded in New Zealand)… read on

Rip off New Zealand – Pharmacy prices a bitter pill to swallow (December 2013)

Shame on the pharmacists of New Zealand who over charge sick tourists during holiday periods.

New Zealand’s pharmacy prices are already among the highest in the OECD with a wholesale mark up of 10% over the manufacturer’s price plus the pharmacy’s mark up (in the USA the wholesale mark up is around 2-4 %). But that doesn’t stop unscrupulous owners from over charging visitors who need essential medications.

How many pharmacists do you know in New Zealand who drive around in flash cars and brag about how much money they’re making. It’s all well and good to get on in life, but at what cost to the sick and needy?

One chemist in a holiday area was charging an additional $10 per prescription, supposedly to cover staff holiday pay rates, on Boxing Day. In parallels to a famous Dickensian tale, the medication was to treat a small boy’s leg infection. According to an article in today’s NZ Heraldread on



3 thoughts on “John Key Admits Medicines Will Cost More Under TPPA

  1. Corporations are always seeking ways to rob the people through legal means. Its only the fact that we can vote and have legal sovereignty that protects us from the corporate, greedy scum and the lobbyists and corrupt politicians that are paid to represent them. Does John Key not realise how silly he looks when he accepts that NZ taxpayer will pay and not the population? Come again John? Are they not the same. If the corporations extract more money through this ‘legal means’ then we, the taxpayer’ will have to pay through increased charges or reduced services. Thanks John for not supporting the people of NZ who pay your wages and vote you in. What a complete joke.

  2. When meds are forced onto the Pharmac drug schedule it will cost the DHBs more money they don’t have and if generics are kept off the schedule longer this will also cost more money. Knock knock! Who’s there? A far bigger private insurance industry for medication costs and treatments

Comments are closed.