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Shadow chancellor: Labour wants to bring pharmacies 'in-house'

The Labour party wants to bring pharmacies “in-house” if it wins the general election, the shadow chancellor has said.

Nationalising all NHS services would ensure “you are not wasting resources on profits that will go into private shareholders pockets”, John McDonnell said during an interview with LBC journalist Iain Dale yesterday (November 5).

The shadow chancellor made the comments during a discussion on the increasing involvement of the private sector in the NHS.

When asked whether this meant he wanted to nationalise all pharmacies, Mr McDonnell said the Labour party wants “to make sure that our services are in-house”.

“I believe pharmaceutical provision should be in-house, but at the same time, what we are trying to say to people [is] we’ll manage those contracts when we take over in government.

“When those contracts run out, we’ll protect the patients and we’ll bring them in-house so there’s public provision,” he added.

Public money must be spent on patients

Private contractors are being paid to “make profit” and that money is therefore “not being spent on patient care”, Mr McDonnell said.

“When it’s public money, which should be spent on patients, it shouldn’t be spent on profit,” he stressed.

The Labour party believes “insourcing is more effective” and beyond that, “you’re integrating the service into a democratic control overall”, Mr McDonnell added.

“Every penny that we pay for the NHS should be spent on patient care,” he stressed.

C+D has contacted the Labour party for more details.

Speaking at the Labour party annual conference in September, leader Jeremy Corbyn announced the party’s plans to create state-owned generics manufacturers to sell medicines to the NHS at more affordable prices.

The announcement was made after shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth had pledged to scrap prescription charges in England, a move welcomed by 55% of C+D readers who responded to a C+D poll last month.

Listen back to the LBC interview with the shadow chancellor.

Do you think pharmacies should be nationalised?

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