A small victory for common sense in the defeat for the Therapeutic Products & Medicines Bill, with Annette King admitting this morning that she just hasn't got the numbers to have this passed. It looks too like a victory for MMP: showing just how difficult it is for any government to pass anything through an all-but-hung parliament. A point perhaps in MMP's favour.
Sadly however, the political opposition to the bill hasn't been based on the stupidity of regulating what doesn't need regulation -- the vitamins and supplements whose use 2.5 million New Zealanders enjoy -- but instead on a xenophobic opposition to an Australian regulatory body. Consequently, the time looks ripe for many of those opponents to sign up to a Bill setting up a local regulatory body with the same overbearing powers as those proposed in the defeated bill.
So as far as small manufacturers are concerned then, this isn't a victory so much as a temporary beating back of the bastards.
UPDATE: Russell Brown mentions Pippa Mackay arguing that this is bad news, especially for "what this means for the approval of all new medicines: longer delays as Medsafe, which had been anticipating the joint trans-Tasman regulator, struggles to keep up, higher costs, and fewer new medicines approved."