Press Release – ASMS

Finally, we get an admission from the Government that medicine costs will rise under the secret Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS).Finally, the Government admits the TPPA will push up medicine costs

“Finally, we get an admission from the Government that medicine costs will rise under the secret Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA),” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS).

He was commenting on Radio New Zealand reports that Prime Minister John Key has conceded New Zealand will have to pay more for some medicines under the TPPA, while adamant that patients will not be disadvantaged: (http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/279879/tpp-key-admits-medicine-costs-will-rise).

“This admission – the first of its kind – is long overdue and confirms the fears of ASMS and other organisations that drug prices would go up,” says Mr Powell.

“The Prime Minister’s quick to reject any suggestion that any increase in costs will be passed onto patients but the reality is that it will impose extra costs on an already cash-strapped health system that is struggling to make ends meet. Of course it will have an effect, and patients will suffer when the health system has to absorb even more expense as a result.”

ASMS and a raft of other health organisations have called repeatedly on the Government to conduct a formal independent assessment of the impact on health of the TPPA, and Mr Powell again urged the Government to do this.

“This whole process has been shrouded in secrecy and that’s not good enough when the deal being cobbled together is clearly going to have far-reaching consequences for New Zealand and our central medicines-buying agency, Pharmac.

“New Zealanders need greater transparency about the pros and cons of a deal like this, and the Government needs to listen to the concerns that have been raised again and again, before it’s too late.”
ENDS

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