NHS trust made £300 000 by selling drugs to wholesaler for export

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 22 February 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c1072
  1. Jeremy Laurance, health editor, The Independent

    A bizarre twist in the unfolding story of drug shortages in the NHS emerged last week with the disclosure that an NHS trust had sold millions of pounds worth of drugs abroad because it saw an opportunity to make a fast profit.

    The Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said it had spent £4.6m (€5.2m; $7.1m) over a period of 10 months buying up drugs at the NHS price and selling them to a wholesaler for export, making a profit of £300 000. It later defended its activities on the grounds that trusts had been encouraged to be “entrepreneurial” and continued the practice for six months after government warnings that its behaviour …

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