Pharmac

John Key says his budget boost for Pharmac should be enough to get a melanoma drug over the line, after the Pharmac CEO says it wouldn't fund Keytruda even if it had the money. Let's unpack this...

How high is "quite high"?

That's a life and death question having heard both the Pharmac CEO Steffan Crausaz and Prime Minister talk about funding a melanoma drug over the past 48 hours.

While TPP – any trade deal – compromises sovereignty it does not mean we cannot respond constructively to unsatisfactory aspects such as those involving intellectual property. 

The stupidest thing said about the TPP deal – thus far – is the claim that it does not reduce New Zealand’s sovereignty. Of course it does. Agreeing to it will mean New Zealand will not be able to do things it currently can do. How important this reduction in sovereignty is is a proper matter for assessment for there are gains as well as losses.

Trust Us?

If you think you know what has been going on with the TPP, you have not been following closely enough. However, here are a few matters for clarification.

What shape is the Trans-Pacific Partnership taking on and what impact will the election result have on whether or not New Zealand signs up?

For decades now National and Labour have had a cosy little arrangement when it comes to free trade. Both parties could count on each other to provide a solid bloc of votes in parliament to pass any bill implementing free trade agreements.

A peek inside the TPP negotiations show that New Zealand is holding its line on some major issues, as you'd expect. But let's not pretend that these aren't incredibly complex negotiations in which something will have to give

Nicky Hager has a story in today's Herald revealing, thanks to Wikileaks, some of the divisions with the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations.