Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said Labour Party will bring pharmacy services “in-house” if his party won the Dec 12 general election.
In an radio interview with LBC’s Iain Dale, the shadow chancellor refuted criticism that Labour was “weaponising the NHS” by claiming that the party always pointed out “the facts”.
He said “pharmaceutical provision should be in-house” as it would not waste “resources on profits that will go into private shareholders pocket”.
When Dale pointed out that “just seven per cent” of the NHS budget went to private contractors, the shadow chancellor shot back: “That’s £10 billion, a lot of money.”
To a question on how McDonnell could deny the really good job private sector was already doing, the Labour MP replied by saying that private contractors were actually making a profit and that the money was not being spent on patient care.
“We’ll manage those contracts when we take over the government, when those contracts run out, we’ll protect the patients and we’ll bring them in-house so there’s public provision.
“Every penny that we pay for the NHS should be spent on patient care,” he added.
During the Labour Party conference in September, leader Jeremy Corbyn had announced their plans to ‘redesign’ the pharmaceutical market and create a publicly owned generic manufacturing company.
“We will redesign the system to serve public health – not private wealth – using compulsory licensing to secure generic versions of patented medicines,” Corbyn had said in his speech at Brighton.