Real cost of Pharmac betrayal revealed

Published: Wed 29 Jul 2015 02:25 PM
29 July 2015
Real cost of Pharmac betrayal revealed
Hundreds of millions of dollars will be added to the taxpayer tab with John Key’s sell out of New Zealand’s drug buying agency, as indicated by the savings of just one drug purchased by Pharmac, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.
“John Key has finally admitted that drug patents will be extended under the TPP agreement that his Government seems intent on signing.
“If that had happened to the cancer drug Glivec, an example of the type of medicine that will cost much more under the TPP, the cost would have risen from $9000 per patient to $60,000 per patient each year – a combined additional charge to taxpayers of $84 million if the patent was extended for seven years.
“If that is the cost of just one drug, then the Government is setting Kiwi taxpayers up to give hundreds of millions of unnecessary dollars to multi-national drug companies who have been lobbying Governments to sign this agreement.
“These additional drug costs will mean New Zealanders will miss out on life-saving drugs because Pharmac can’t afford them, or taxpayers will have to pay many millions more for them.
“Labour is pro free trade as seen in the China FTA we signed in 2008. But signing free trade agreements has never before required us to give up important institutions like Pharmac.
We have clearly stated that protecting Pharmac is one of Labour’s bottom lines when it comes to the TPP. It sits alongside being able to restrict sales of our land to foreigners, not allowing corporations to successfully sue our Government for legislating in the public interest and ensuring meaningful gains for our farmers.
“These revelations about the TPP come at a time when the Government has slashed $1.7 billion from the health budget and DHBs are struggling to cope.
“John Key is gambling away some of our most valued New Zealand institutions and sovereign rights. It is a betrayal of New Zealanders,” says Andrew Little.

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