Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1026/28541

From The Socialist newspaper, 23 January 2019

NHS faces drug price hikes

Nationalise big pharma: end this profit-driven NHS crisis

Price controls not enough: we need democratic public ownership

Nationalise big pharma!

Nationalise big pharma!   (Click to enlarge)

Iain Dalton, Socialist Party national committee

Among all the other Brexit-related headlines, the latest crisis announced has been a projected shortage of generic, out-of-patent medicines.

The NHS was reportedly paying higher prices to suppliers of 80 products in December to shore up its supplies. According to Oxford University researchers, last month the total cost of these generic drugs was 37 million instead of the 'normal' 11.4 million.

But this isn't the first time in recent years there has been a spike in drug prices coinciding with projected shortages. In November 2017, 91 medicines were on the price concessions list (allowing companies to increase what they charge for them).

In reality, there are a number of factors that can lead to such shortages. These include increasing global demand and issues with the supply of raw materials. But linked with this are problems stemming from the nature of capitalist, profit-driven markets.

To boost profits, many companies cease to manufacture generic products in favour of more expensive and profitable patented brands. What's more, as the Healthcare Distribution Association has suggested, companies can stockpile medicines in a speculative fashion to make money as further shortages develop.

This rigging of the market in the interests of private profit, with scant regard for the healthcare needs of the population, is the dominant feature of the pharmaceutical industry.

According to a recent study, two thirds of patient groups appraising pharmaceuticals for regulatory body NICE receive funding from the very companies they are meant to be judging.

The government's own website to attract Big Pharma investment in the UK boasts an Effective Tax Rate of between 11% and 13%. 30% of all drugs used worldwide were developed in Britain.

Pharma giants

The UK's pharmaceutical industry is dominated by two giants, GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca. These are the fifth and sixth largest drugs companies globally, both with profits over 2 billion in 2017.

Instead of subsidising their profits with tax breaks and guaranteeing large payments from the NHS, they should be nationalised under democratic workers' control and management.

This would allow production to be directly linked with what is needed in the NHS. It would free up funds that currently go to the vast profits of these companies for increased investment in research - helping to pave the way for fresh advances in the treatment of disease.

Drug production could be democratically planned by workers in the sector, the NHS and patient groups, and with the involvement of wider society.

Such measures, which would need to be taken as part of the socialist transformation of society, could inspire workers around the world who are struggling for decent health care and against the capitalist system.

Such a movement for socialist change would demand the multinational big pharma companies like Pfizer, Novartis, Merck, Sanofi and others are brought into public ownership - paving the way for a fully integrated, publicly owned and democratically run health service. In this way research data would no longer be hidden for commercial confidentially, but instead shared.

In this way we could begin to tackle global health problems in a coordinated fashion - to the benefit of all.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 23 January 2019:


What we think

Corbyn: stand firm for a general election


Socialist Party news and analysis

Nationalise big pharma: end this profit-driven NHS crisis

Duke's car crash: one law for them and another for us

Racist jobs discrimination same for 50 years - unions must fight for jobs for all

Wales is Europe's prisoner capital: capitalist cutters' crimes to blame

Them & Us


Socialist history

Cuban revolution at 60: defend the gains and fight for workers' democracy


Workplace news and analysis

Birmingham: hostile Labour council attacks striking workers

Mass strike wins historic step towards victory in Glasgow equal pay battle

John Lewis workers count the cost of the retail crisis

Unison union higher education conference: a missed opportunity to develop a fighting strategy

Bristol Deliveroo workers walk out

PCS union: re-elect Chris Baugh for assistant general secretary


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Enfield North CLP backs no-cuts budget - now councillors must act

We need May Day greetings!

Leeds: don't let the far right divide us


International socialist news and analysis

Europe: school students strike against climate change

Poland: thousands mourn death of murdered mayor

International round-up


Opinion

Theatre: Rouse, Ye Women to tell story of 1910 chainmakers' strike

Non-fiction: The Murder of Rosa Luxemburg "reveals the brutal lengths capitalists will go to protect their system"

The Socialist inbox


 

Home   |   The Socialist 23 January 2019   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

NHS:

triangleStop Tory NHS destruction

triangleLeicester NHS Trust and the brutal reality of cuts

triangleSouthampton Hospital security workers strike

triangleHealth Campaigns Together AGM success

triangleNHS marches in Yorkshire and London

Nationalise:

triangleClimate Change strike on 15th March 2019, London, photo by Paul Mattsson

triangleSupport the Honda workers: nationalise to save jobs

triangleNationalise to save jobs at Honda!

triangleNationalise Airbus and other manufacturing plants to save jobs now!

Drugs:

triangleAnger after violent youth deaths - Communities need public services not cuts

triangleBig drugs companies dodge 3 billion pounds in tax

triangleSave our NHS

Pharmaceutical:

triangleCash-starved health service ripped off by big pharma - fund our NHS now!

triangleBlood transfusion scandal

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

17/4/19

Labour

Labour looks to Bank of England to stall house prices

17/4/19

Cuts

100 billion for bosses - cuts for us.

17/4/19

Minimum wage

20 years of the minimum wage: Fight for a real living wage for every worker

17/4/19

Tories

Tories facing electoral meltdown

17/4/19

Climate change

Labour needs socialist policies to solve "climate emergency"

17/4/19

Council tax

Cuts drive council tax debt

17/4/19

Cuts

No-fault evictions ban, but cuts leave tenants vulnerable

17/4/19

Wikileaks

Assange arrest: US and allied governments seeking revenge for exposing dirty wars

12/4/19

Climate change

Extinction Rebellion

10/4/19

Equal pay

Gender pay gap widening

10/4/19

Brexit

Corbyn must demand election, defend workers' interests and fight for a socialist Brexit

10/4/19

Socialism

Them & us

10/4/19

NHS

Stop Tory NHS destruction

10/4/19

Brexit

Boot out the Tories - end austerity

10/4/19

Environment

Only socialism can stop capitalism's plastic problem

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999