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Government opens up medicine funding threat

If changes proposed in the Wikileaks documents were to come into effect New Zealand tax payers will pay more for health, Labour’s Acting Health spokesperson David Clark says.

“The health sector is already underfunded. Pharmac is a bright light in the sector, saving New Zealanders millions by negotiating cheaper medicines.

“Now John Key is looking to take more money out of the health budget to pay for multi-national corporate welfare.

 “The review processes revealed in the documents are akin to requiring Pharmac to provide secretarial services to international drug companies who want to mount legal disputes against it.

 “The Prime Minister has previously said Pharmac will be protected under the Trans Pacific Partnership. He must now explain why this isn’t just another broken promise. 

“John Key has also previously stated he is prepared to extend medical patents. He can’t pretend that this won’t also be a cost to the taxpayer.

"John Key needs to come clean with New Zealanders. We are a trading nation, so we need strong trade agreements that protect our sovereign interests.

 “The TPP negotiations have been anything but transparent. This latest leak does nothing to reassure New Zealanders,” David Clark says.