Another day another big pharma drugs scam !

Hardly a day goes by without big pharma hitting the news, almost always the news is negative. From drugs being banned for harming people to out and out fraud leading to court cases and massive fines, but the drugs juggernauts roll on. Reputation means nothing to these companies and huge fines are an overhead, no one gets imprisoned, the medicine shows stays on the road. Not much has changed from the days of the old wild west snake oil salesman, apart from the numbers and the numbers are colossal. $30 billion plus for statins alone. Politicians increasingly join the gravy train and governments turn a blind eye, they need the tax revenues, here’s the latest scam that costs the NHS, i.e. us, a fortune.


The Independent today

Drugs companies have been accused of “highway robbery” of the NHS by using a legal loophole to push up the price of medicines in some cases by up to 2,000 per cent – at a cost to the taxpayer of tens of millions a year.

At least 15 drugs have substantially increased in price after being “flipped” from one firm to another, according to information obtained by doctors. The legal “scam” has prompted outrage from the British Medical Association – which has warned that vital treatments risk being denied to patients if costs rise so much that the NHS can no longer afford them. The controversial practice involves big-pharma firms selling on medicines commonly used by the NHS to businesses acting outside the Government’s price-regulation scheme. The purchasing firms are then free to mark up the prices they charge the NHS.

In one of the worst cases, the cost of an epilepsy drug prescribed to thousands of patients by the health service was increased by 24 times the original price. Meanwhile, testosterone patches given to both men and women suffering from hormone imbalances jumped from £26 per 300g to a £395 after being sold on. And the price of a medication used to treat mental-health problems such as anxiety and schizophrenia rocketed from around £4 per five millilitres to £23 – a mark-up of 607 per cent.

More on this story here. 

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