Why it’s not true that the TPPA won’t increase the cost of medicines & what happens next to ratify the deal?



The media are buying huge chunks of propaganda ion the TPPA, it’s embarrassing. While Professor Jane Kelsey is correct in that the the immediate cost of medicines won’t go up, that’s not to say they won’t.

As Gordon Campbell points out…

Pharmac’s operations will certainly be changed by the Transparency Annex to the TPP deal, which will open up Pharmac’s purchasing decisions to legal challenge by multinational drug companies if and when their products are turned down.

…what that means is Pharmac needs to take into account that American Pharmaceuticals may sue them if they don’t buy their more expensive medicines meaning the business case for buying cheaper alternatives becomes warped by the constant treat of legal fines by America. That will have a direct impact on the price Pharmac pays for medicines.

The backlash at such a weak deal that only focuses on enabling product we produce like wine, beef and forestry is damning…

Trans Pacific Partnership deal promises ‘ring hollow’ for health advocates

TPP fallout

Bryan Gould: Dairy tariffs still in place – why did we sign TPP?

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Dr Pat Neuwelt: Doctors not prepared to swallow TPP pill

…and when you consider all the product we’ve gained in is dependent on climate change , the whole thing seems as short sighted as Mr Magoo.


In fact Mr Magoo might have had a better chance of negotiation than Groser did. Here is Groser on the Left with the American trade negotiator.


This was always a geopolitical war being waged against China by America. They don’t care if NZ  buys its flat screen TVs from Beijing, but they want us watching American culture. This is a vast expansion of soft power and the Free Market agents within NZ will do all they can to force Labour to fold on its opposition.

So what technically happens next to ratify this erosion of NZ economic and political; sovereignty…

While the TPP member countries have reached the outline of a deal, media reports suggest that not every detail of the agreement has been fully fleshed out. The New York Times predicts that it will take about a month for these details to be worked out and for the final text of the deal to be made publicly available.

After that, it will take another three to four months for Congress to enact a deal. Under the “fast track” legislation authorizing Obama to negotiate the deal, the president must give Congress 90 days’ notice before signing the trade deal, and then another wait another 30 days before introducing legislation implementing it. This means that even in the best-case scenario, Congress won’t be able to vote on the controversial deal until early 2016. And it could be delayed by further wrangling, either among TPP member countries or within Congress.

Obama’s big challenge will be that the deal has something for everyone to hate. Drug company allies like Orrin Hatch are disappointed that US negotiators didn’t get the generous drug protections they’d sought — that will make them less excited about the deal. Meanwhile, public health groups believe eight years of protection is too long.

Nothing has happened in the past few months to mollify the TPP’s many critics — most of whom come from the political left. We can expect many labor unions, environmental groups, and other left-leaning advocacy groups to lobby against the agreement.


…the spin to con NZers into thinking this is a great free trade deal must be fought every step and those who refuse to allow NZ to become the 51st State of America need to start organising now.


  1. Anything the NatZ say is a lie now.

    We will pay dearly now and many with their lives as the medicines will be scaled back in use to less than effective amounts to offset the Health purse as they always do.

    Nothing in TPPA will benefit the communities only business interests who want to sell them to foreign interests.

    Our future will belong to others from overseas not us, as Government will leave the economy open to market forces of overseas waves of foreign buyers now.

    Fuck the traitor he is and a liar as he promised not to make us tenants in our own land, so he lied and will pay for this one way or the other.

    • Medicines in the USA cost around 10 times as much as in NZ, even after you have paid $200+ a month for health insurance. But the Nats obviously think it is time that the NZ healthcare system is privatized, and they want to ‘Americanize’ the same way they have done with Work and Income, charter schools, and private prisons.

      It would be terribly ironic (and sad at the same time) if the US elects Bernie Sanders, and manages to get through UHC a few years after his election, only for NZ to curtail its public healthcare system and adopt the flawed US healthcare model.

      • @Kiwionfire,
        I am a Kiwi who has lived in Seattle for 45-years(!)
        You Kiwi’s would be absolutely crazy to curtail your wonderful public healthcare system, and saddle yourself with the atrocious and immoral healthcare model we have in the US.
        You don’t know how good you have it! Believe me.

        • I wish we could get that through to the sleepy hobbits in NZ. They are still blinded by the light that shines out of John Key’s youknowhat and don’t want to know the truth.

  2. At least we’ve got other “diversions” to take our minds off TPPA Martyn!

    Such as an anonymous threat against Otago University. Reminds me so much of the “white powder scare” after GCSB laws were being ‘discussed’…..

    John Key heads off to Camp Taji, where all I could focus on was the NZ flags ensigns on the anonymous soldiers upper arms. Reminds me of Campbell Live’s poll on the flag debate 84% against change?

    What I want to know is why wasn’t Key’s sand camouflage hat, emblazoned with his flag choice instead of a kiwi with laser beams?

    Corin Dann. FFS, If he took off in a strong nor’wester, he would fly around clockwise because he’s so right-wing. Reminds me of an embedded journo in Desert Storm.

    TPPA – desert storm in a teacup.

    All we need now is John Key in a three-way on his way back from TPPA and Desert Storm Part Trois in a three-way with Richie.


  3. the heading photo puts me in mind of the toothfish painting ‘the transmogrification of john key’ currently for sale on youtube. worth a look.

  4. the heading photo puts me in mind of the toothfish painting ‘the transmogrification of john key’ currently for sale on youtube. worth a look!!

  5. We all know it suxs – that’s why the Nats will do their best to get this TPPA baby through.
    I’m sure the large deposit into foreign bank accounts marked ‘Key’ and ‘Groser’ helped too.
    All about the money…..

  6. OK Martyn, you’ve convinced me. TPPA = bad. What do you suggest is the alternative? Who do we buy our pharmaceuticals from? Where do we get the billion/trillions the US pumps into medical research so we can go it alone? Is it OK to have an FTA with China but not with the US? Do we stand on the sidelines and let an Asia Pacific trade bloc develop the we have no part in? Negotiations are all about give and take so if the Pharmac issues are to be our bottom line what do we give to retain that level of control over buying drugs? I’ve heard a lot of negativity about the TPPA but no recognition from critics of the trade issues we face as a small agricultural nation. I am absolutely, genuinely interested to hear your views on these issues.

    • KS, are you seriously telling us that without the TPPA we can’t buy pharmaceuticals from overseas?!

      Are you really saying that the US won’t pump “billion/trillions into medical research”?

      You entire statement suggests you have very little insight into how the TPPA actually works.

      • Sure the US will keep up with R&D of drugs and yep no problem we’ll be able to buy their drugs – at the non-TPP prices which will likely cost X times much more than for TPP participants. So again:
        – Is it OK to have an FTA with China but not with the US? Why/not?
        – Did you approve of the China FTA at the time it was made?
        – Do you think the China FTA has been beneficial for NZ? If so, why/why not?
        – Should we stand aside and let an Asia Pacific trade bloc develop that we have no part in?
        – Negotiations are about give and take so if the Pharmac issues are to be our bottom line what do we ‘give’ to retain your desired level of control over buying US drugs at reasonable prices?

        You’re right I have very little knowledge of how the TPPA works. I understand that there are people opposed to it but it seems those same people/groups tend to be opposed to everything. I’m trying to figure out whether there is any genuine merit to the opposition to the TPPA, that’s why I’d like to hear your views on the questions I have.

        • 1 – Your question clearly shows you have no understanding of how vast the difference between the China FTA & TPPA are.
          2 – The China deal is completely different from the TPPA
          3 – Yes because it is completely different from the TPPA
          4 – Of course not, but the TPPA isn’t a free trade block
          5 – The question shows you have no comprehension of the impact it already creates

          • Perhaps rather than attacking me for my lack of understanding you could try to explain your position but I suspect you won’t… because you can’t. So I give up I’m now pro-TPP simply because nobody can actually articulate their opposition to it other than to say “bad, bad, bad, evil corporations bad, bad, bad evil governments bad.” I’ve not heard a single compelling argument against our participation in the TPP and not heard a single palatable alternative to it.

            • I did. The Chinese FTA is completely different from the TPPA – you are trying to compare oranges with cannonballs

            • KS, I’m no fan of the DYOR (Do Your Own Research) response. It’s usually a cop-out for a person not knowing just WTF they’re talking about.


              In the past, I’ve dedicated hours of researching to answer what I thought were legitimate questions – only to learn that the Questioner was not remotely interested in the facts. They were simply trying to score points by trying to look “clever” by asking questions and hoping I had no answer(s). (Example; Gosman’s silly October 8, 2015, 6:26 am, post below. He does a lot of that kind of thing. We’ve learned to scroll past and not indulge his endless “are we there yet?” style of pointless questions.)

              So, you’ll forgive me (and Martyn) if we can’t be arsed.

              If you are truly interested in this issue; if you are genuinely trying to learn why so many people(including elected representatives, economists, etc) are opposed to the TPPA; if you honestly want to find out the intracacies of this so-called “free” trade agreement – there is a wealth of information out there.

              Literally, 99% (+/- 1%) of the combined knowledge of human civilisation is at your finger-tips.

              Why don’t you avail yourself of it?

              Because, really, your 12:31 am post shows a lack of knowledge on this issue which I doubt can be rectified by a couple of blog-posts.

              More to the point; you need to find this information yourself and assess it, without the ‘filters’ of other people here on TDB.

          • The TPP is a trade agreement, not a ‘free’ trade agreement, however it delivers many benefits to NZ and very few downsides, despite the scaremongering. The deal has been signed. The sun still came up this morning.

            • The TPP is a trade agreement, not a ‘free’ trade agreement…

              Oh? Better not let Groser hear you say that, Sandfly. You’ll be consigned to a Gulag for that kind of heresy.

              …however it delivers many benefits to NZ and very few downsides…

              Your enthusiasm is commendable. But not based in reality.

              For one thing, we’ll be paying more for our pharmaceuticals shortly. Guess who’ll be shouldering that extra cost?

              The sun still came up this morning.

              … and the sun shone just a wee bit brighter of some corporates, eh?

    • A real one – not an American corporate free-for-all racket masquerading as a free trade deal and spun out by the NZ MSM.

    • I have a lot of sympathy for Frank’s approach as it has a certain symmetry to it but let’s try a different tack.

      I presume, that you @Gosman are pro free trade agreements – I certainly am.

      So let’s do a little free trading – are you in agreement?

      You outline what for you are key elements of a trade agreement that you think we should sign up to and I’ll do the same.

      I don’t mind going first or you can if you prefer. Do we have a deal?

  7. It’s my humble view that the TPP agreement ‘in relation to NZ’ is that it’s yet another filter through which the financial proceeds of our primary industry must travel .
    Think a vast wool board or a vast meat board or a vast dairy board or a huge apple and pear marketing board ?
    It’s another way for NZ’s few Good Ol’ Boys to launder primary industry money then siphon it off into their pockets , as they’ve done for generations and generations in NZ.
    Of course, there are other splinter agendas that are in play too. Fucking off the Chinese, perhaps to cause physical conflict ? Well, then the arms manufacturers will be happy, as will their subsidiary companies who make cell phones , computers, car electronics, fertilisers, heavy machinery etc, etc. And those waring, profiteering lunatics, psychopaths and just plain greedy little bottom feeders will hide out in NZ until the nuclear fallout clears then wait until the dying are dead and well rotted.
    The TPP is designed to make money. I think we can all agree upon that. But is it politicians working hard, while paid by you and me, to strike the right deal for you and me ? To answer that question lets look at what those same politicians have done for us thus far?

    Tell me ? What do you see ?

  8. And please, for the love of God!? Can you take down that photoshop image. It’s killing my libido. I used to think of an old aunts toe nails ( I’ve never been back to Oreti Beach. Oh , the childhood memories !! ) or dead kittens re premature ejaculation.

  9. If anyone is stupid about this “deal”, it’s Key and all the corporatist elite clowns fooling themselves into believing they’ve sucked us into being conned that such a “deal” is going to benefit everybody.

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