Drug firms are fleecing the NHS – and the taxpayer

It is conspicuous that drug firms have only started hiking prices since the Conservative Party started messing around with the National Health Service.

Raising the prices of drugs in a captive market like the NHS means that there is increasingly less money for the provision of care, and increasingly more profit for ‘Big Pharma’.

The Tories won’t mind because it suits their purposes to have an NHS that can’t afford to pay its way – even if this is because prices are corruptly being raised to maximise profits for the greedy.

That’s why a Health Department spokesperson claimed that “The UK has some of the lowest prices for generic drugs in the world” – even though the facts had already been laid out in this Mirror article:

Pharmaceutical firms are “milking” the NHS by hiking drug prices by 2,000%, it has been claimed.

Companies are said to be “de-branding” vital medication and flogging them as generic drugs, meaning the cost to the customer rockets.

The price of some treatments for conditions ranging from high blood pressure to insomnia have spiralled, a Sunday Times investigation found.

It showed the price of a 150ml oral solution of Symmetrel, which treats Parkinson’s disease, rose from £5 to £130 between November 2013 and now – a huge increase of 2,358%.

The drug was de-branded in October last year and sold as amantadine.

While a packet of 250mg capsules of epilepsy drug Mysoline, sold as primidone since October 2013, has shot up from just £12.60 to £93.75.

Source: Drug firms ‘milking NHS by hiking the price of essential medication’, says report – Mirror Online

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8 thoughts on “Drug firms are fleecing the NHS – and the taxpayer

  1. Jeffery Davies

    Wait untill ttip is signed then the games will begine oh you charging to much for your drugs sorry we taking you to court for not allowing us to ops jeff3

  2. stephen brophy

    This is nothing new! They ( hospitals ) have been paying £5 for a pack of paracetamol! Something we can get from a supermarket for less than 50p.and there are always cheaper alternative drugs that don’t get approval from NICE, this is a very cosy set up because the public trust them to do what’s right!.

  3. Dez

    The NHS used to have a very strict formula that restricted the amount of profit Pharma could make from this lucrative captive market. Maybe the movement into generic market, when the patent expires or the drug ceases to generate enough profit, is not restricted by Pharma Price Regs hence being allowed to be freely priced. Would imagine Pharma gets a nice front end price for their redundant product lines and still entitled to royalty income. As with most Internation Blue Chips I would also bet they also have some lucrative tax arrangement with Dublin or the like to keep their double whammy income in their own Company. I also blame Ministers for being persuaded by strong lobbyists erroding what used to be a strong price limiting formula

  4. amnesiaclinic

    I think it is dismantling rather than messing about with the NHS. There is nothing left but these commissioning groups which are just a fancy way of saying getting fat contracts. No, they don’t care if the NHS goes bankrupt as they are the ones profiting and then sadly the rest will go as it cannot pay its way.
    Tragically even 38 degrees has only tinkered aroung the edges with the NHS expressing worry about the privatisation when basically it has gone.
    Just an illusion left.
    Welcome to the pre-NHS era.
    Aka the workhouse.

  5. Dee Ross

    well last Saturday, i discovered one of my inhalers had run out. empty after less than 3 days. i take 4 altogether. 3 preventers 1 reliever. this was one of the preventers. of course surgery was closed as was 2 out of 3 chemists. the 3rd, a coop chemist, said they could provide one but would have to take in the empty inhaler plus repeat prescription. which i did,. flabbergasted to learn it was going to cost over £40 for 1 inhaler and a generic one at that. Salmeterol. originally Serevent,.just looked online. around £35 for Serevent. but can get a generic one for £21. as it happened i’m a pensioner plus diabetic and thyroid problems so exempt.on 3 counts. but i still had to remember on the following Monday to phone my Drs n get prescription sent to coop chemists. so they and i were covered. but think it was £42 full price. from them.

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