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 same time, says Mr Powell, kiwis would find their sovereignty over New Zealand’s public health system reduced as overseas investors will have increased powers to undermine important health initiatives in tobacco, alcohol, and sugary drinks control.
“New Zealander’s right to a high quality public health system that deserves to be respected by our government rather than treated as a dead rat” commented Mr Powell.