In this age of austerity the NHS drug budget has a clear opportunity cost to add to the total of ~£12bn expenditure. But a profitable pharmaceutical industry can contribute to economic growth and export income.
The UK government is anxious to retain and enhance our domestic science base, incentivising investment from domestic and overseas companies by using a variety of policies of explicit and covert industry subsidies. One element of this has been to undermine the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. …
Government continues to subvert the efficiency of technology appraisal work carried out by NICE in order to subsidise industry. Does this benefit the UK taxpayer and NHS patients? Or does government tacitly wish to tax the NHS with high pharmaceutical prices of sometimes inefficient drugs and, in so doing, increase the wealth of industry? Current policy lacks
accountability and appears consistent with Stigler’s contention that regulation benefits the regulated.
Maynard, A. and K. Bloor (2015). “Regulation of the pharmaceutical industry: promoting health or protecting wealth?” Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine 108(6): 220-222. http://jrs.sagepub.com/content/108/6/220.full