22 Apr 2010

Pharmac reforms expected

2:35 pm on 22 April 2010

The medicines industry says reforms are likely be needed to the way the Government's drug-buying agency Pharmac operates if New Zealand is to reach a free trade deal with the United States.

Talks have been taking place on whether the Trans Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership agreement involving New Zealand, should be expanded to include the US.

The Researched Medicines Industry Association says some say achieving such a deal would threaten Pharmac, which has angered international drug firms with its controls on drugs spending.

But the association says it expects reforms from Pharmac rather than its removal.

It says any reforms should include independent clinical assessments of the benefits of medicines, separate from financial considerations.