UK opposition leader gives pharma a pass on his profit margin cap proposal
- UK opposition party leader Ed Miliband, who heads the Labour Party, has come out against one part of a proposal that critics say would discourage private-sector involvement in the National Health Service (NHS). The kicker: It's his own proposal.
- Miliband's election campaign plank aims to restrict NHS suppliers to a five percent profit margin at most. But he says that drug makers are in "a different category" and thereby wouldn't be subject to that cap.
- Miliband endorses integrated health care as the way forward, in lieu of a fragmented NHS.
Labour has been reaching out to business interests in a couple of ways. Miliband contends that pharma companies fall into the camp of "producers," which bring something good to society, in contrast to predators, which he identified as companies such as Sports Direct that provide shoddy working conditions and no security.
In addition, Labour is sticking with an earlier pledge to not hold a referendum on E.U. membership. Clearly, the role of the biopharma industry is an important political issue in the U.K., where healthcare is almost entirely—though not completely—publicly funded.