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Topic: Pharmacy sell off scandal
Posted by: Paul Allen
Date/Time: 04/08/14 22:21:00

In a scandalous attempt to push through its NHS sell-off, the government is using the promise of VAT tax breaks to sell pharmacy services, which could mean a private company would profit from patients medication provided by the NHS

Rae Passfield, Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Hospital pharmacies are being privatised at an alarming rate because of a ‘toxic combination’ of the government’s health act and an unfair loophole in VAT rules meaning pharmaceutical companies like Lloyds and Boots don’t have to pay 20 per cent VAT – but NHS providers do.

“This is the thin end of the wedge as NHS trusts up and down the country use the government’s odious health act to sell-off huge swathes of NHS clinical services,” warned Unite general secretary, Len McCluskey.

A contract for pharmacy services in Morecambe Bay, worth in the region of £25m, was advertised explicitly stating that “VAT savings” was a “key business driver.”

At least 31 NHS trusts have already chosen to use private companies to run outpatient pharmacy services and a further 18 are currently out to tender.

Lloyds Pharmacy has been the biggest beneficiary of the loophole having secured around 18 contracts to run hospital pharmacy services, Boots have won five, Sainsbury’s three and the Co-op five.

The fear is that selling-off NHS pharmacy services will put more emphasis on sales and that the contract will be about driving down costs not improving patient care.

“The toxic combination of a tax loophole, cuts and the government’s drive to sell-off the NHS mean that hospital pharmacies are being bought up by companies like Boots and Lloyds,” Len said.

“The fact that the government has done nothing to level the playing field is proof of its zeal to dismantle our cherished NHS.”

Cuts to the NHS and the government’s health and social care Act have accelerated privatisation, putting NHS pharmacies at even more at risk. Since this Act came in to force, 70 per cent of health services put out to tender have gone to the private sector.

Entire Thread
TopicDate PostedPosted By
Pharmacy sell off scandal04/08/14 22:21:00 Paul Allen
   Re:Pharmacy sell off scandal04/08/14 22:42:00 Peter Millman
      Re:Re:Pharmacy sell off scandal05/08/14 09:58:00 Vanessa Smith
         Re:Re:Re:Pharmacy sell off scandal05/08/14 12:03:00 Susan Kelly
   Re:Pharmacy sell off scandal05/08/14 09:05:00 tim rogerrs
      Re:Re:Pharmacy sell off scandal05/08/14 12:05:00 Paul Allen

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