At least, don’t think about ordering the latest pharmaceuticals. The London authorities like to save money. That means not paying much for drugs. Which means that British patients aren’t likely to get them.
Life-saving medicines meant only for sale in the UK are being sold for export at huge mark-ups, causing an acute shortage of drugs that is putting patients’ lives at risk, the Observer has established.
A “shopping list” from would-be buyers sent to UK pharmacies and wholesalers and seen by the Observer reveals they are being encouraged to sell on some medicines for up to 30% more than they would get from the NHS.
Pharmacies are being offered £930 for a course of Humira, a medicine for rheumatoid arthritis that they normally buy for £715, giving them an instant profit of 30%. Those involved in the trade – believed to be a handful of rogue pharmacies and wholesalers – are offering £76.50 for a month’s course of Femara, a drug used to treat breast cancer patients, which UK pharmacies can buy for £60.85, earning them a 25% profit.
A pre-filled syringe of Aranesp, used to treat chronic renal failure, can be sold on for a 21% mark-up. The burgeoning trade can be attributed to the slide in the value of sterling against the euro, which has meant UK drug prices are now some of the cheapest in Europe.
But no worries about ObamaCare. Once the Clinton administration takes over health care payments and benefits, everything will be wonderful. More people will be covered for more procedures, spending will fall, and the deficit will be reduced. And North Korea will disarm, the Iranian mullahs will convert to Christianity, Israel and the Palestinians will make peace, and the lion will lie down with the lamb.
Don’t worry, be happy.
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