‘NHS was charged £1,500 for single pots of moisturiser selling for less than £2’

The NHS was charged £1,500 for single pots of moisturiser selling elsewhere for less than £2, it is claimed.

Boots billed the NHS £1,579 for one 500ml tub of a cream made up specifically for patients with skin problems in 2016, according to payment records seen by the Times.

It had reportedly bought the special cream from BCM Specials, a supplier then owned by Walgreens Boots Alliance, Boots’s parent company.

Reports claim the same moisturiser- a mixture of creams- is regularly prescribed in the UK for around £1.73.

The NHS said companies increasing drug prices were harming both taxpayers and patients, it is reported.

Deirdre Buckley, chairwoman of the specials working group at the British Association of Dermatologists, said manufacturers overcharging was ‘not right’ and against the duty to conserve taxpayer resources to care for patients.

NHS England said: “If companies harm patients and taxpayers by unfairly and inappropriately hiking drug prices they should expect vigorous regulatory and legal enforcement action."

But Walgreens Boots Alliance has “categorically” denied overcharging, insisting it complied with all regulations and legal requirements.

It claimed prices of specials were reviewed on a regular basis to make sure they were in line with the average price paid by the NHS.

A spokeswoman told The Times the process of making specials ordered at short notice "incurs high overheads, reflected in the final cost, which is set in line with the sector to reflect the bespoke nature of the products.”

With the NHS brought to its knees by eight years of Tory austerity, millions of Brits are so worried they would dip into their own pockets to rescue it.

In a clear message to Theresa May that people are fed up with her crippling our cherished service, 63% said they will happily pay an extra 1% tax to secure its survival. It would raise an extra £5.5billion and cost those on the average wage of £27,600 just £3.50 a week.

And 73% of those quizzed in a Mirror poll by ­Survation, would give up an £1 a week to keep the NHS free and out of the clutches of the private health firms circling like vultures. That would bring in £2.75billion a year.

More than alf said they would part with £2 a week.

A third would pay £5, raising £13.75billion.

It comes as thousands of campaigners are preparing for a save the NHS march in London tomorrow.

Shadow Health ­Secretary ­Jonathan Ashworth said: “This Mirror poll confirms again that the British public just don’t trust the Tories with the NHS.

“Eight years of ­underfunding has left services overstretched and patients at risk. Around the country ­brilliant NHS staff are going the extra mile to keep the service running but are being let down by this ­government.”

The Royal College of ­Nursing’s Donna Kinnair added: “The NHS is buckling under the strain of chronic underfunding.

“There is just not enough money in the system and it’s clear ministers are ­significantly out of touch.

“The public would rather give the NHS £1 extra each week then let the current situation go on for much longer.”

Many will join ­Saturday’s People’s Assembly and Health Campaigns ­Together to Fix The NHS march on Downing Street to demonstrate.

Source: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/owner-boots-charged-nhs-1500-11956108

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