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

John McDonnell was responding to a question from LBC journalist Iain Dale yesterday
John McDonnell was responding to a question from LBC journalist Iain Dale yesterday

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?

Adam Hall, Community pharmacist

Couple of things - Big Pharma may be the Big Bad Wolf but it is the profit they make that supports future R&D. And if you don't believe in profiting from health, does that mean you work for free?

R G, Pharmacy Buyer

Happy to sell my NHS contract at market value if they can find my contract!

Caroline Jones, Community pharmacist

That wouldn’t happen......under Labour proposals they would ‘force’ you to sell....just like what they intend to do to those who own empty properties etc

Crazy policies/ideas........beginning to sound a lot like George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’......terrifying stuff....

Adam Hall, Community pharmacist

I presume they will extend this to the nationalisation of GP practices, seeing as how they are also private contractors. BTW since pharmacies (and GP practices) are businesses, how are you supposed to run a business without making profit?

Caroline Jones, Community pharmacist

I’d love to see how GP’s, dentists and opticians take to this proposal.....

Bob Dunkley, Locum pharmacist

Good job they're not going to be elected then, isn't it? What happened to the National Generics Company then? Have wiser counsels prevailed and Comrade Corbyn has thought better of it? He really is a four letter fellow.

Adam Spencer, Community pharmacist

Don't you think it is ridiculous how drugs companies all came together to restrict a drug,and hence the price rose by 1800%.absolute greed,they don't do that to other countries like Spain,Eastern European countries.the only reason they do it to the uk is because the know we have money and know about litigation.these drugs companies don't care about the patient or their illness,the only thing they care about is a fat pay check.


Graham Jones, Community pharmacist

On a micro case you have a point - the situation was exploited.  On a macro level I disagree as the NHS has been succesful in holding down drug costs.

Adam Hall, Community pharmacist

... and said companies have been fined and, in the US, the MD/CEO was jailed!

Adam Hall, Community pharmacist

A couple of things about MPs - especially Socialist/Marxist/Communist MPs - I would take them more seriously if they gave up the surplus salary they get FROM THE PUBLIC PURSE to leave themselves with the average wage/living wage/minimum wage (I don't mind which - they can choose). Also, any monies they have saved - since this is surplus to their requirements so can be called 'profit' - then I might give you the time of day

Benie I, Locum pharmacist

You have to understand MPs are in an exclusive club housed in Parliament. Their main goal above all else is to remain in that club and preserve the status of that club. Everything else is secondary and at times you must be humoured and lied to such that the status quo can remain. Con, Lab, Lib is actually irrelevant once you sit down and think rationally.


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