Friday, June 24, 2011

US to New Zealand: "And now we will ruin your healthcare system"

"We really don't want to become embroiled in a health system that in any way resembles what happens in the United States," says a recent editorial in the New Zealand newspaper, The Marlborough Express.  "Nor do we want to be as medicated as Americans."  So why are Americans trying to export their dysfunctional healthcare system to New Zealand?

The answer: because that's what the pharmaceutical industry wants.  For decades New Zealand has kept drug prices far below the exorbitant levels that Americans are used to paying.  Pharmac, the New Zealand drug-buying agency, decides which drugs it will cover and negotiates with pharmaceutical companies for a reasonable price.  But a group of 26 US Senators has decided that this must change, and has written a letter to this effect to President Obama.  As Radio New Zealand reports, the Senators have "received $6.5 million in donations from the pharmaceutical industry over the past five years."

"We would not tell the United States how to run Disneyland," the Marlborough Express points out.  So why is the United States telling New Zealand how to run its healthcare system?

Read the full story at Placebo Effect, by Jim Edwards.

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