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July 3, 2011

Industry Demands Could Affect New Zealand’s Health System

New Zealand's health system could suffer should the country's government agree to pharmaceutical industry demands set by the US, claim Pharmac supporters. The country is attempting to negotiate a free trade deal with the US, and trade minister Tim Groser has refused to rule out chang

By cms admin

New Zealand’s health system could suffer should the country’s government agree to pharmaceutical industry demands set by the US, claim Pharmac supporters.

The country is attempting to negotiate a free trade deal with the US, and trade minister Tim Groser has refused to rule out changes to Pharmac, New Zealand’s drug buying agency.

As New Zealand attempts to negotiate the transpacific partnership, Pharmac has come under fire amid claims that it threatens American business interests and free trade by taking a hard line during price negotiations.

Pharmac has been tasked with reducing New Zealand’s drug bill during negotiations with pharmaceutical companies, and its chief executive Matthew Brougham told ONE News that the country would have spent an extra NZ$1bn over the past 11 years without the agency.

Brougham claimed that it would be a disaster for the country if Pharmac was forced to make its strategies public, adding: “The worst thing we could do is to make it transparent to the drug companies, that just wouldn’t work. You’d lose all your buying power.”

An interim agreement is expected in November after the next round of trade talks.

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