Monday Oct 24, 2011
Leaked documents from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) show giant
drug companies are trying to control the price of their products and deprive New Zealanders of access to cheaper medicines,
Three secret US-proposed texts from the negotiations in Lima, Peru, were leaked
and posted, along with critiques, on the Citizen Trade Campaign website yesterday.
The TPP is a regional trade agreement between New Zealand, the US, Australia,
Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
The combined effect of the three leaked texts gave big pharmaceutical companies
"a platform to wage a war of harassment against Pharmac", said TPP opponent Jane Kelsey, a University of Auckland law professor.
Pharmac is the government agency that buys drugs for New Zealand, and can
negotiate with manufacturers to get better prices.
Professor Kelsey said the secret TPP negotiations gave foreign corporations
enormous leverage over democratic processes and threatened the country's health care system.
American legal expert Professor Sean Flynn said the US proposal would regulate
public health policy and had no place in a trade negotiation.