National (worst “dealmakers” ever) have already given up on protecting Pharmac in the TPP negotiations. Key glibly says that the government will just cover any increased medication costs. Sounds easy doesn’t it, but here’s the reality under which Pharmac operates today:
Pharmac plea for more money rejected by Government
The Government rejected Pharmac’s bid for more money in this year’s budget, despite the drug purchaser’s concerns it could not invest in new medicine.
And while Pharmac’s $5 million gain will allow it to tread water, officials advised the Health Minister he would need to revise his expectations if the agency did not get the modest $11m extra it was asking for.
King said the Governmnent’s decision meant New Zealanders would miss out on potentially life-saving drugs. “The money could have been used for cutting edge treatments for cancer and purchasing a wider variety of new medicines which can make a huge difference to people’s lives,” she said. “In submissions to the Minister, DHBs pointed out that their current levels of funding are not keeping up with the demand for medicine.
If the TPP goes ahead Key’s promise to meet increased costs will quickly be “forgotten”.