The Government must not back down in the TPPA negotiations and allow a loss of access to cutting edge medicine for diseases like cancer, Labour Health spokesperson Annette King says.
“Our health system is already struggling and too many Kiwis are having to go without the care they need.
“Powerful countries like the US and their pharmaceutical lobby are pushing New Zealand to sign up to a patent extension on life saving drugs, from 5 years to at least 8 years – which will delay cheaper versions of latest medicines from entering the New Zealand market.
“John Key and his ministers need to be standing up to this pressure and fighting for our health system. International media reports that countries like Australia are fighting hard to keep the 5 year limit in place. New Zealand needs to be part of that fight.
“Already, this government has cut 1.7 billion from the health budget and denied Pharmac the $11 million it said it needed to invest in new medicines this year. Already it is estimated that Pharmac’s budget is short by 3 to 4 hundred million dollars.
“If the Government folds on this deal, New Zealanders will face much higher prices and restricted access for medicines like life-saving cancer treatments.
“Come on Mr Key, it’s time to show some guts and fight for the healthcare New Zealanders deserve,” says Annette King