Drug Companies are Still Ripping Off the NHS

15 June 2016 — 38 Degrees

Rogue drugs companies are still taking our NHS for a ride, draining it of millions of pounds a year. [1] A small number of dodgy companies have been exploiting a loophole that lets them buy up the rights to everyday medicines, hike up the price, and hold our NHS to ransom.

130,000 members of 38 Degrees signed a petition demanding the government close the loophole, and it was delivered to health minister Jeremy Hunt’s doorstep last week. [2]

Hunt’s finalising his plans on this loophole right now. And our wave of people power is already making front page news. [3] So if thousands of us tweet or email Jeremy Hunt now, while his plans are still up in the air, we could force him to close the loophole.

Please can you tweet or email the Health Secretary?

The scale of the scandal’s only just come to light. An investigation by the Times found that the NHS is paying £85 for a basic skin-care treatment that used to cost just 70p. Price hikes like this one are costing our NHS the equivalent of 7,000 new doctors a year. [4]

38 Degrees members have been putting the government on the spot and it’s working. They’re facing opposition from all sides, and even from members of their own party. [5] So now we’ve got to keep up the pressure. If tens of thousands of us tweet or email Jeremy Hunt now when he’s already feeling the heat could force him into taking action.

Please can you tweet or email Jeremy Hunt now?

Our NHS is precious and should be protected. Unless we come to together now, shady businesses will continue to exploit our NHS for all its worth. 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, Tom, Maddy and the 38 Degrees Team

NOTES:
[1] The scandal was exposed in the Times newspaper a couple of weeks ago. There have been a number of developments including the government’s decision to make the competition watchdog investigate the companies who are responsible.
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
The Guardian: Jeremy Hunt asks competition watchdog to look a drug pricing
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/jun/04/jeremy-hunt-asks-competition-watchdog-to-look-at-drug-pricing
[2] The 38 Degrees petition can be found here:
https://speakout.38degrees.org.uk/campaigns/close-NHS-drugs-loophole
[3] The 38 Degrees petition was reported on the front page of the Times:
http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/drug-profiteers-face-fines-b0bc5tgbx
[4] See note 1
[5] The government’s faced opposition from both opposition and Conservative MPs, including Sarah Wollaston:
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

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