TPP the Wrong Prescription for a Healthy Democracy
Friends of Medicare are speaking out on the potential harm the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement will cause to Canada’s health system.
At House of Commons consultations in Calgary, Executive Director Sandra Azocar made the case that the TPP “limits Canadians ability to find democratic and public solutions to ongoing healthcare issues, most notably on pharmaceutical costs.”
“At a time when our federal government has committed to working with provinces and territories to lower the cost of medications, the TPP is the wrong prescription,” said Azocar. “In a healthy democracy, we should be able to make our own decisions to take steps to lower drug costs and provide stronger regulation on their safety. The TPP instead leaves those decisions up to foreign arbitrators who can overturn decisions we make together in Canada.”
A Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives report “Major Complications” suggests Canada could face as much as $636 million in increased annual drug costs if the TPP is adopted.
As Azocar stated during her presentation “we made a pledge as a nation that no Canadian would ever go without health care because they can’t afford it. The TPP puts this principle at risk.”
“We also have concerns around the TPP limiting our ability to reverse healthcare privatization, especially in ancillary services such as food services, house keeping and other areas. Our provincial government was elected on a platform to reverse privatization, and ratifying the TPP can impose serious limits on their ability to fulfill their mandate,” Azocar continued. “In every trade agreement there are winners and losers, and with the TPP the losers will be Canadians who rely on health care and prescription drugs.”