06 October 2015

The New Zealand Medical Association Chair Dr Stephen Child (NZMA) is pleased the Government appears to have listened to many of the concerns raised by the health sector in reaching a deal on the Trans Pacific Partnership.

“From what we have seen so far, the fears about what might happen with pharmaceuticals appear not to have been realised,” says Dr Child. “We understand that New Zealand’s existing measures will be adequate to meet the provisions put in place to protect the development of biologic medicines. There is no change to New Zealand’s standard 20-year patent period, and efficient processes in New Zealand mean that it is unlikely there will be many applications to extend patent terms.

“There are also provisions that allows the Government to rule out ISDS challenges over tobacco control measures.

“However, we still need to see the details of the agreement, and a careful, thorough analysis is needed. There is a lot more to learn—and, to understand fully its impact on health, we still believe that an independent Health Impact Analysis is needed.”