The Keytruda deal

A very good article by Stacey Kirk at Stuff on the negotiations between and Merck over . Well worth a read to see how vigorous the negotiations are, and how Pharmac gets good deals for the taxpayer by playing one drug company off against another.

What stuck me reading the article is how important it is that politicians don’t give in to lobbying campaigns to undermine Pharmac negotiations by promising to fund a drug regardless. Not only does it result in a bad outcome for that particular drug (taxpayers pay more for it than otherwise), but it undermine Pharmac’s ability to hang tough in other negotiations and incentivises more drug companies to focus on wining and dining MPs rather than negotiating with Pharmac.

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