Apparently, private pharmaceutical companies have been ripping off the NHS by over-charging for drugs. No, really. Apparently, they are too keen to make profit. Fancy that, a private company making profits. You’d almost think that’s what they are supposed to do.
Everyone is up in arms about this, and it seems that the pricing scheme may be amended to reduce the rip-off a tad. Indeed, the Office of Fair Trading recommends replacing the current the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme, where companies can set the initial prices of drugs under a maximum level of profits, with a "patient-focused value based pricing scheme". Whatever that may mean.
But the glaringly obvious solution seems to be totally off the political radar: nationalise the pharmaceutical industry! If the NHS produced its own drugs, then it couldn’t be ripped off, could it?!
Not only could profit be removed from the equation, so could the other ways in which a private industry wastes resources – marketing; duplicate medicines; and the absurdity of separate companies pursuing the same research in separate laboratories.