Jan Trotman and Winston Peters
Winston Peters is always the first to claim that other members of parliament have conflicts of interest and last week was front and centre in whipping up a storm over a glass of milk.
WOBH can exclusively reveal that Winston Peters has his own conflicts of interest, some going back many years.
Some basic facts first so that what is revealed can be put into context.
- Winston Peters long time partner is Jan Trotman.
- From 1993-2006 Ms Trotman was General Manager ofÂ Janssen, Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson and Johnson.
- During this period, Winston Peters and other members of his caucus asked many very specific questions in relation to the pharmaceutical industry regarding Pharmac funding and in particular in relation to Janssen products.
Here is the evidence.
In October 2001 Winston Peters asked in Question 4 what reasons there are for not publicly funding a range of other drugs and treat Alzheimer’s disease other than with the Aricept drug. He further asks why is it that Exelon has also been on Australia’s publicly funded pharmaceutical benefit scheme list since February 2001, and Reminyl (a Janssen product) is to be added from tomorrow, while New Zealanders suffer not having the benefits of these drugs.
In 2003 he asks more questions (Q9 ) on these Alzheimer’s drugs in the House about why the government was doing a trial on the efficacy of Alzheimer’s drugs when they have been proven and are publicly funded in other first world countries.
9.Â Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS (Leaderâ€”NZ First)Â to theÂ Prime Minister: Does she have confidence in the Minister of Health; if so, why?
Rt Hon HELEN CLARK (Prime Minister)Â :Â Yes, because she is a hard-working and conscientious Minister.
Rt Hon Winston Peters: If she is such a hard-working and conscientious Minister, why is she a Minister who says that the efficacy of Alzheimerâ€™s drugs has not been proven, when Canada, UK, Australia, USA, Latin America, and Western Europe all make those drugs publicly available; or is this just another example of inexcusable, inexplicable, heartless cost-cutting?
Rt Hon HELEN CLARK: No, none of the above. This country has very careful mechanisms for assessing what drugs it is appropriate to fund, and I am not aware that those mechanisms and procedures have changed substantially in recent years, at all.
Rt Hon Winston Peters: Why does the Prime Minister not inform herself of the facts before she rises and makes a statement like that, when Canada, UK, Australia, USA, Latin America, and Western Europeâ€”nearly all the First Worldâ€”recognise that those drugs do work, and make them publicly available, whilst her Minister is demanding that Pharmac do a trial to find out what everybody else in the world knows and is prepared to spend money on, excepting her heartless Government and Minister?
Rt Hon HELEN CLARK: I can only repeat that getting value for money is very important, and that does not mean paying any price for any drug that a pharmaceutical company wants.
Dr Lynda Scott: Is the Prime Minister aware that these drugs are the only treatment available to patients with Alzheimerâ€™s, and why will they not be funded?
Rt Hon HELEN CLARK: I suggest the member put down a question on notice with specific reference to the question of Alzheimerâ€™s drugs. It is this Governmentâ€™s determination to provide proper treatment for people across the range of conditions. It is also a fact that we consider health sufficiently important to have it as a front-bench portfolio.
Rt Hon Winston Peters: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. The Prime Minister might think that health is important enough to have it has a front-bench portfolio, but being informed about it is not what she is demonstrating today. She should notâ€”having attempted to answer two questions alreadyâ€”then pretend that she has adequately answered this House by suggesting that the member â€śput down a written questionâ€ť. She has been asked why the only drug proven worldwide is being denied to the thousands of sufferers in this country, andâ€” Â Read more »