There has been a public outcry over revelations by the Health Service Journal (HSJ) that the Royal Surrey Country Hospital NHS foundation trust profited by selling millions of pounds of drugs on the export market.
The trust says it saw “an opportunity to make a margin” and claimed it was simply being entrepreneurial.” The Department of Health allegedly said the practice was “wholly unacceptable” and warned that such actions could trigger shortages.
The HSJ (Leader column, 18 February 2010) says that “The trust board must explain what it knew and whether it stands by the drug sales.”
Healthcare Governance Review agrees this is certainly an ethical issue of potentially serious governance concern. But did the trust really do anything wrong? Or was it simply taking a prudent opportunity to realise a profit in line with its terms of authorisation? Please submit your comments below.