EXPOSED: A small number of rogue drugs companies are fleecing the NHS out of millions of pounds a year

3 June 2016 — 38 Degrees

EXPOSED: A small number of rogue drugs companies are fleecing the NHS out of millions of pounds a year. [1]

They’re exploiting a loophole that allows them to buy up the rights to everyday medicines, hike up the price, and hold our NHS to ransom. It means our cash-strapped health service is forced to spend millions on overpriced drugs rather than spending it on nurses to care for our families or cancer services to help our friends in need.

The solution’s simple. The government just needs to shut the loophole. They’re aware of the problem but have been dragging their feet. [2] The story’s been exposed in the papers today, so the government’s in the spotlight on this right now. [3] A huge wave of public pressure could give them the push they need to shut this loophole for good.

Please can you sign the petition? It takes less than 10 seconds:

The scale of the problem has only just been revealed. An investigation in The Times today found that the NHS is paying £85 for a basic skin care treatment that used to cost just 70p. [4] Price hikes like this are a scam. They could break our NHS.

The government’s got the power to stop this happening – but they’ve been putting it off. Today’s news makes it clear just how damaging this loophole is. If tens of thousands of us sign a huge petition demanding they shut the loophole now it could shame them into taking action.

Can you sign the petition today?

38 Degrees is a movement of people who believe the NHS should be about patients – not profit. And unless we come to together now, shady businesses will continue squeezing our NHS until it breaks. The NHS is there for us through thick and thin, so let’s come together now to make sure it’ll keep saving lives for decades to come.

Thanks for being involved,

Lorna, Nat, Rachel, Rowan, Maddy and the rest of the 38 Degrees team

NOTES:
[1] The scandal was exposed in the Times newspaper today but it’s behind a paywall. A number of other newspapers have picked up the story including the Sun:
The Sun: NHS hit by £262million drug price hike as tycoons exploit loophole to jack up prices:
http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/woman/health/health/7190882/NHS-hit-by-262million-drug-price-hike-as-tycoons-exploit-loophole-to-jack-up-prices.html
The Times: ‘Extortionate’ prices add £260m to NHS drug bill:
http://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/extortionate-prices-add-260m-to-nhs-drug-bill-8mwtttwdk
[2] The government consulted on drugs pricing last year but haven’t published the results yet. The government’s expected to publish recommendations in a few weeks time. Gov.uk: Pricing of branded health service medicines:
https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/pricing-of-branded-health-service-medicines
[3] See note 1
[4] See note 1

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