Is Andrew Little working for Big Pharma in pushing just one specific drug?

Labour Leader Little Andrew

Labour Leader: St Andrew Little, defender of the melanomics

Drug company lobbyists were hosted?at a special dinner?by?Labour leader Andrew Little,?months before Labour announced its stance to override Pharmac and fund melanoma drug?Keytruda.

Labour confirmed the dinner?took place, understood to have been?in Labour’s parliamentary?offices, in September.

Organised by Pharma?lobbying group Medicines NZ, the dinner also?included representatives from Keytruda makers Merck Sharp and Dohme, Pfizer, Roche, Healthcare Logistics?and Sanofi.

Little said he recalled a dinner, but was unsure of the timing.

Here we go, the back paddling.?? This sounds one hundred times more dodgy than a glass of milk on the way to the airport.

“I’ve certainly met with health insurers, I’m not quite sure whether drug companies were represented there.”

His office clarified Little hosted both groups separately, late last year.

But Little said neither meeting had any influence on Labour’s current position, and there had “absolutely not” been any discussions around political donations from the drug companies.

“And I don’t get caught up in discussions about that, but I’m certainly not aware of any suggestions, hints at, offers of, contributions. It’s not the basis of which we would arrive at the position we’ve arrived at.”

Who?? Not me Guv!

However the stance is a u-turn on its position during the widely-publicised?Herceptin?debate in 2008.

It’s understood significant ructions are forming within Labour, over the issue. It’s believed some MPs and wider party members are not pleased with the moves to interfere with Pharmac’s purchasing model.

Turning Pharmac into a political football when it is actually performing superbly is just damaging to all New Zealanders.

Once again, Andrew Little’s picked an absolute winner.

Once again, the Labour Party’s dodgy strategies crumble.

Once again, the voters can’t see why they should care.


– Stacey Kirk, Stuff