Higher prescription charges on way

Press Release – Green Party

Higher prescription charges on way unless John Key’s government stands firm The cost of getting a prescription could be going up if John Key doesn’t take action to ensure access to affordable medicine isn’t traded away in the Trans Pacific Partnership, …Higher prescription charges on way unless John Key’s government stands firm

The cost of getting a prescription could be going up if John Key doesn’t take action to ensure access to affordable medicine isn’t traded away in the Trans Pacific Partnership, says Labour Associate Health Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway.

Prime Minister John Key has given conflicting signals on the importance he places on Pharmac as part of the TPP trade agreement negotiations with countries including the US .

“Labour supports the TPP trade negotiations but will be calling on the Government to take a hard line in the negotiations to prevent the removal of Pharmac’s role and ensure drugs and medicines are kept affordable for New Zealanders.

“Pharmac is internationally renowned for its ability to deliver low-cost medicines to all New Zealanders.

“Having delivered in excess of $700 million in health cost savings, Pharmac truly is a New Zealand success story and should be kept right off the bargaining table no matter how much big drug companies want it to be there,” said Iain Lees-Galloway.

Iain Lees-Galloway said that although not every decision made by Pharmac over the years has been without controversy, overall its benefit to New Zealanders is undeniable.

“The way we buy medicines ensures all New Zealanders can afford the treatments they need, as do our patent laws. Nothing should change that.

“Labour supports a bipartisan approach to negotiating free-trade agreements. Bargaining means give and take form all parties involved but we can choose what is up for negotiation and what is not.

“Affordable medicine for all New Zealanders should not be part of the discussion.”

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