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New Zealand agency comes under pressure to pay more for drugs

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d3933 (Published 21 June 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d3933
  1. Ray Moynihan
  1. 1Byron Bay, Australia

The United States is using a fresh round of talks on free trade to try to water down New Zealand’s tough approach to negotiating low prices with drug companies.

The talks are part of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, which will involve nine countries in the Asia Pacific region, including the United States, New Zealand, and Australia, and will cover trade in intellectual property, pharmaceuticals, and other commodities.

The prices that the New Zealand government pays for drugs are among the lowest in the developed world, and the drug industry, much of which is based in the US, is using the trade talks to push for reforms in how those prices are set.

Last month a group of 28 US senators wrote to President Barack Obama urging him to protect US companies’ interests during the …

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