Student doctors concerned about TPPA’s patient implications

Press Release – New Zealand Medical Students’ Assn The New Zealand Medical Students’ Association (NZMSA) urges negotiators to keep the health of our patients at the forefront of their minds when negotiating the Trans-­Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). Student doctors concerned about the TPPA and its implications for the health of future patients. The New Zealand Medical Students’ Association (NZMSA) urges negotiators to keep the health of our patients at the forefront of their minds when negotiating the Trans-­Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). Future physicians have grave concerns about the implications for Pharmac. “Access to medicines is a basic right, and Pharmac helps to ensure that right. Out of pocket costs for basic medicines here are only three dollars, compared to countries like the US where patients pay thirty dollars for inhalers and ninety dollars for statins,” says Briar Mannering, third year medical student. Patent extensions and data protection measures could undermine access to cheap generic medicines, driving up costs for New Zealanders, either through increased co-­payments or increased budget allocations to Pharmac. The chief negotiator for NZ today said that the TPP won’t require changes to the “fundamentals” of Pharmac, but this still leaves room for serious restrictions and weakening. “The TPP could also affect our ability to maintain effective public health policy regulating tobbacco,” says fifth-­year medical student Ben Harley. With proposed intellectual property provisions, foreign corporations could sue...

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