‘Secret’ trade deal will drive up medicine costs: report

The Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA), consumer advocate CHOICE and about 20 other groups have seized on a health impact assessment, released today, to pressure the government for transparency about the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP).

They suspect an accord could favour giant multinational corporations over consumers and pave the way for private interests to undermine Australian policies such as plain-packaging rules for cigarettes and subsidised medicine.

“The TPP includes provisions that don’t just affect trade. They affect the way the government regulates public health,” said PHAA CEO Michael Moore.

“In many areas — such as nutrition labelling — it’s already a struggle to implement effective policies that promote health. If certain provisions are adopted in the TPP, this will be another hurdle for organisations seeking positive public health outcomes.”

The impact