Tag: Association of Salaried Medical Specialists

High Court TPPA ruling sends strong message to Government

Press Release – Association of Salaried Medical Specialists Todays High Court decision sends the Government a clear message that it needs to be more transparent when negotiating trade deals with far-reaching consequences for New Zealanders, says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of …13 October 2015 High Court TPPA ruling sends strong message to Government “Today’s High Court decision sends the Government a clear message that it needs to be more transparent when negotiating trade deals with far-reaching consequences for New Zealanders,” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS). The ASMS was one of several applicants to the High Court in Wellington, seeking a judicial review of Trade Minister Tim Groser’s blanket refusal to release information about the Trade Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) requested under the Official Information Act. Other applicants included Consumer NZ, Greenpeace, Oxfam, New Zealand Nurses Organisation, the Tertiary Education Union, and Ngati Kahungunu. In a judgement released today, the High Court has quashed the Minister’s decision in relation to six of the categories of documents requested by Auckland University law Professor Jane Kelsey, who has led the legal challenge on behalf of the applicants. The judgement says: “When the Minister refused Professor Kelsey’s request, neither he nor his officials assessed each piece of information requested against the criteria in the Act for withholding official information. Instead, the Minister...

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Patients deserve better than health as trade deal dead rat

Press Release – Association of Salaried Medical Specialists Patients deserve better than having their health system becoming a swallowed dead rat in trade dealMEDIA RELEASE For immediate use 3 October 2015 Patients deserve better than having their health system becoming a swallowed dead rat in trade deal “New Zealand patients deserve much better than to have their taxpayer funded health system becoming a swallowed dead rat as a result of the controversial Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA),” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS). Mr Powell was responding to reports that a deal on the TPPA in Atlanta is close and Trade Minister Tim Groser’s comments about New Zealand having to swallow dead rats. “One of the immediate consequences is expected to be that American drug companies will increase their monopoly power by extending their drug patents a further three years to eight. Either patients or taxpayers will have to pay for this.” Mr Powell observed that it was bizarre that a supposed ‘free’ trade agreement increased the power of overseas monopolies over New Zealanders’ public health system. “If leaked reports are correct, New Zealand’s well performing drug purchasing agency Pharmac will be reduced to being like Georgia playing the All Blacks in rugby. Pharmac will try hard, might occasionally get across the goal line, but will always be well beaten.” At the...

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Government’s Arrogance Over TPPA Secrecy

Press Release – Association of Salaried Medical Specialists Trade Minister Tim Groser has demonstrated breathtaking arrogance in dismissing concerns about the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) raised by health professionals and the general public, says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association …Government’s Arrogance Over TPPA Secrecy “Trade Minister Tim Groser has demonstrated breathtaking arrogance in dismissing concerns about the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) raised by health professionals and the general public,” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS). Thousands of people took to the streets in 21 cities and towns at the weekend to express concern about the impact of the TPPA on health care in this country. However, Mr Groser dismissed the rallies as a combination of people being misled about the deal and hardcore protesters who had opposed every trade agreement New Zealand had signed (http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/281506/tpp-‘how-do-these-people-think-nz-can-earn-a-living-‘). “It’s an extraordinary response from the Trade Minister to the legitimate concerns that have been raised but, unfortunately, not a surprising one,” says Mr Powell. “Hospital specialists have tried repeatedly to raise their serious concerns over the threats of the TPPA to the independence of New Zealand’s health policy and to its impact on pharmaceutical costs but he has devalued their concerns and also ignored our calls for an independent health assessment of the trade deal. The Government has failed to give health...

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Secrecy of TPPA documents heads to court

Press Release – Association of Salaried Medical Specialists A legal challenge to the secrecy of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations will be launched in the High Court next week.31 July 2015 Secrecy of TPPA documents heads to court A legal challenge to the secrecy of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations will be launched in the High Court next week. An urgent application for judicial review will challenge Trade Minister Tim Groser’s blanket refusal to release any of the categories of information sought by University of Auckland Professor Jane Kelsey under an Official Information Act request on 25 January this year. The request reflect the categories of documents recommended for the release in an own-initiative report by the European Union Ombudsman into the secrecy of the parallel negotiations for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the US and EU. Co-applicants in the proceedings include Consumer NZ, the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, Greenpeace and Oxfam, among others. Under the Official Information Act, the Minister’s refusal to release documents must be reviewed by the Ombudsman before it can be judicially reviewed. That process has taken four and a half months. The final report from the Ombudsman was only delivered two days ago, on 29 July. ‘While we would have preferred to bring the case earlier, it remains crucially important to secure release of information before any deal...

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TPPA document release shows pharmac will be undermined

Press Release – Association of Salaried Medical Specialists The Government has serious questions to answer about how it plans to protect the countrys drugs-buying agency, Pharmac, following the release of a significant Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) document, says Ian Powell, Executive … WEDNESDAY 10 JUNE 2015 TPPA document release shows Pharmac will be undermined “The Government has serious questions to answer about how it plans to protect the country’s drugs-buying agency, Pharmac, following the release of a significant Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) document,” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS). “This document shows that, contrary to the Government’s assurances to date, Pharmac will be left vulnerable and exposed under the TPPA, with pharmaceutical companies able to interfere in their processes to a level not experienced here before. Government claims that Pharmac will not be undermined are wrong. “Pharmac will effectively be left fighting for New Zealand patients and taxpayers with one arm behind its back and the other arm in a sling. Gutting Pharmac is not too fine a description.” The Annex on Transparency and Procedural Fairness for Pharmaceutical Products and Medical Devices from the TPPA negotiations has been posted on the WikiLeaks website (https://wikileaks.org/index.en.html). It outlines a series of principles and procedures by which agencies such as Pharmac must operate. Mr Powell says that overseas pharmaceutical companies will have unprecedented...

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