The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA)
NZNO remains opposed to the secrecy of the TPP (no text will be released prior to signing) and intellectual property provisions which dramatically extend patents. These will increase the cost of medicines, deter innovation and generic drug production, and, through the threat of private investor litigation, limit the ability of governments to make decisions benefitting public health, for example by challenging decisions altering tobacco, alcohol and advertising controls. NZNO does not support additional patenting of treatments, techniques and operations which will increase healthcare costs, and is concerned by the dual attack on PHARMAC through:
- transparency clauses which would undermine the commercial processes which ensure New Zealand pays less for its medicines than other countries, and through
- patent extensions which would effectively cut off the supply of generic medicines on which it relies.
A number of events throughout the country are planned over the negotiating period - See itsourfuture.org.nz for further information.
Public Health and the TPPA
PHARMAC'S effectiveness is threatened by patent extensions which undermine the production of cheaper generic drugs that it relies on, and "transparency" provisions which allow greater pharmaceutical company interference. Public health is threatened by Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) which allows international companies like Philip Morris tobacco to sue the government if their profits are threatened. The call will be to get rid of ISDS which will limit future governments' ability/appetite for regulation in the best interests of public health.
Read the report PUBLIC HEALTH will be a Major Loser under the TPP (PDF)
Nurses are advised of Petition to the Prime Minister RE: the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement
Open to all health professionals, organised in support of Smoke Free Aotearoa. Please take time to read the petition carefully. Remember to fill in your job title and qualifications to ensure the petition captures the spread of services and skills of the health professionals signing it.
15 good reasons to challenge the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement (PDF, 569KB, 2 pages)
Report on Auckland TPP Negotiations by Bill Rosenberg, NZCTU Policy Director/Economist (PDF, 169KB, 4 pages)
TPPA Alert – Hands off our public health system! by Professor Jane Kelsey, School of Law, University of Auckland. 28 January 2011 (PDF, 2 pages)
Article by Deborah Gleeson and Sharon Friel exploring emerging threats to public health from regional trade agreements such as the TPP
The Lancet has published an article by Deborah Gleeson and Sharon Friel exploring emerging threats to public health from regional trade agreements such as the TPP (The Lancet, March 1, 2013). It states that:. The decision by Australia's High Court to uphold the constitutionality of the country's ground-breaking tobacco plain packaging laws has been heralded as a victory for national sovereignty over vested interests. However, the ability of governments worldwide to introduce and implement public health policies and laws is increasingly threatened by trade and investment treaties that privilege investors over governments and provide avenues for international corporations to challenge democratically enacted public health policies in different countries.
http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2813%2960312-8/fulltext Access is free but you will need to register/log in to view and download the paper. Note also recent statements around plain packaging and that the govt is waiting for the outcome of the Aussie case before going ahead indicating that the TPP is already having a chilling effect on public health legislation.