Pharmac’s a treasure – watch out for pirates

Written By: - Date published: 7:52 pm, July 31st, 2011 - 14 comments
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Geoff Simmons will speak on the importance of Pharmac at a Fabian seminar today at St John’s Church at 5:30pm. Pharmac is “on the table” in negotiations with the US in the Trans-Pacific Trade agreement. It is no secret that the US pharmaceutical industry would like to clip Pharmac’s wings; but our government’s approach is secret as they have refused to release draft negotiating texts. Geoff and Gareth Morgan have written to government arguing that  a US free-trade deal isn’t worth it if Pharmac is sacrificed.

Any final deal will not even be subject to parliamentary ratification.

All are welcome to the free seminar.


14 comments on “Pharmac’s a treasure – watch out for pirates”

  1. Pharmac does a fantastic job on behalf of New Zealanders. The Pharmac model should not be on the table in trade negotiations.

  2. higherstandard 2

    Nothing will happen to PHARMAC and in this instance the government is right not to prejudice negotiations by putting their hand out in the public arena.

    • If Pharmac really is off the table, isn’t duplicity a dangerous negotiating tactic in a trust-building process?

      • prism 2.1.1

        @David Clark and Higherstandard
        HS It seems that you are going all gooey RW again. Put your hard hat on and protect yourself against attack to the soft areas of the brain.
        And we can’t label the negotiations for freemarkets as ‘trust building’. That’s what the Israelis and Palestinians or similar have to do. We aren’t at some social workers camp with the USA. When making business deals it would pay to never be trusting or the naive will find they get had.

      • higherstandard 2.1.2

        Hi David

        It seems odd that to me that we all acknowledge that PHARMAC is doing a good job and that they employ exactly the kind of negotiating tactics that you would like the bureaucrats to avoid.

        Just recently the NZ multinationals were decrying PHARMAC saying all they wanted was more openness from them which translates too ‘show us your hand so we can screw you over’.

    • Campbell Larsen 2.2

      The copyright lobbyists from the US rolled all over the govt in relation to the file sharing bill HS – there is no masterful negotiation going on here – it is all nudge nudge wink wink, you scratch my back, I scratch yours.

      This poker face farce is a lie, the US knows it, the Nats know it and we know it.

      Affordable health care in NZ is NOT a bargaining chip in some sick game of international trade – NZ wants it off the table – it should never have been near the bloody table.

      It doesn’t matter how many time you tell us that ‘in order to see we must first be blind’ it will never be true.

    • mik e 2.3

      Lowering the standard again this a democracy freedom of speech.Something you are obviously trying to undermine. If these giant pharmaceutical companies can openly lobby and bribe US elected officials with out fear [yes bribe donate funds to the elected officials party to follow their interests] we will not be shut up by some low ranking National bully.

  3. Jum 3

    David Clark

    Key has said Pharmac stays on the table. It may be seen by this government as a lever to win some other agreement from America, but there is nothing I can think of that is more important than the access to the best health outcomes at the best price for all New Zealanders. We know how the American government treats so many millions of its own people; actually, no, it doesn’t ‘treat’ them. That is the problem. Now they want to repeat their disgusting policies over here.

    Key will do anything, sell anyone to get this so-called free trade agreement which is actually a corporate controlling instrument by America over New Zealand and other partners.

    Joyce has already sold out to Telecom, so we know now that this government has no intention of being our protector against foreign invasion of our future sovereignty in any area of policy making.

    All we can do is spread the information we get so that New Zealanders cannot say they weren’t warned when they come to vote. We all have networks we can send information to. People with ALL the information in front of them and not just Mr Key’s plan may then make an informed choice. But, if they don’t give government their opinion little changes.

    There are only 4+million people in New Zealand. How many of them are children who rely on us as adults to protect their future interests? How many of us are prepared to speak out?

    Shame on us if we cannot at least do that.

  4. ghostwhowalksnz 4

    Id be interested in what Pharmac does that is so different to the Australian PBS, which also provides subsidised pharmaceuticals for their medicare system

    • higherstandard 4.1

      Tenders primarily, although there’s also more reference pricing and a higher bar to new products being funded via the government.

  5. Robert M 5

    Jum of course wants a Cuban model social worker police state. That is the general model of care wanted by the Christchurch and Auckland medical schools. Medical spending in NZ is excessive and out of control because of excessive reliance on hospitals, medical interventions, operations and the need to see doctors for perscriptions. Increasingly medicine and doctors detract from the health of the general public and poor and are just a justification for social control of the population and the poor and the creation of middle class jobs as planners, nurses, social workers. The welfare state and universal health coverage is largely a racket to create middle class jobs. Even an avowed socialist like British Labour cabinet minister and philosopher of social democracy , Tony Crosland.
    Garreth Morgan is basically an Oxford educated socialist and pacifist with views similar and as basically silly left as Bob jones. Morgan is an elitist and paternalist. You are simply an idiot if you believe medical specialists rather than the market should decide which drugs should be imported. Medical specialists thru history have resisted every medical advance. The patient himself or herself should decide which drugs should be imported thru market demand. Pharmac simply means NZ sponges of the cost of medical and pharmacutical advance and that most psychiatric drugs developed and introduced in the advanced west are not available in NZ forcing the use of old inflexible inhibiting drugs and dangerous cocktails of drugs. The general reactionary nature of specialists makes them resisting to trying new drugs or using the available drugs in far lower doses which I belive would result in greater happiness and safety for all concerned.
    Both in the interests of the economy and health breaking the power of the medical establishment and specialists is vital. Far more competition is required in medicine. Every intelligent economist and commentator has concluded a free market in legal and currently illegal drugs is required. Everybody from Reagan to Milton Friedman to Ross Meurant agrees. The fact Peter Dunne dosen’t shows there are large pockets of social workers, policemen and the extremely intellectually challenged ih his electorate.
    A free market pharmacutical system and opening of medicine to full competition would result in better happiness, fewer people being tasered and a younger pretier medical profession and population. Doctors would spend more time on cosmetic surgery than hip replacement or prostrate operations.

    • Jum 5.1

      Robert M,
      No amount of botox to the forehead or your brain could possibly prettify the vicious and vacuous ugliness of your utopia.

      PS you forgot to add Boris Johnson to your list of neo-conservative bile-monkeys like your last hate-filled pus attack against me.

      I want New Zealand back from scavengers like you. My New Zealand doesn’t have to be anything other than considerate of its people. That is and will be impossible under your masters John Key and Roger Douglas.

      The one word that describes that diatribe above is your ‘greed’ that you want to achieve at the expense of all other New Zealanders that don’t see greed as a plus in New Zealand society.

      Even so; you have done us a favour; the real face of John Key’s government is being uncovered. You/they really are scary in a republican tea party sort of way.

  6. Optimus Prime 6

    “Medical specialists through history have resisted every medical advance”

    Pure, unadulterated crap. Physicians and surgeons practice a thing called “evidence based medicine”. If the research evidence isn’t robust, it probably wont get a look in – for good reason.

    “Pharmac simply means NZ sponges of the cost of medical and pharmacutical advance and that most psychiatric drugs developed and introduced in the advanced west are not available in NZ forcing the use of old inflexible inhibiting drugs and dangerous cocktails of drugs.”

    You actually have a good point there and I would include other categories of drugs such as pain medication, anticonvulsants, antihypertensives and antibiotics in there also. Given that 2 of those are the largest prescribed groups of medicine it is an even more damning indictment of the Pharmac approach at times.

    It is interesting how the cost data on re-admision, adverse events and non-compliance with the cheap generic medications Pharmac buys for us is never published. I’m sure the cost efficacy would be a bit startling in some areas.

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