HSJ calls on Royal Surrey FT board to explain its values following “wholly unacceptable” drug export sales

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.

One Response to HSJ calls on Royal Surrey FT board to explain its values following “wholly unacceptable” drug export sales

  1. Thinker says:

    What about the fact that for the last 25 years we have been importing drugs from Europe. The DOH actually encouraged this. Why is it suddenly unethical when the shoe is on the other foot. What about our poor cousins there. What about free trade. I think the pharmaceutical companies are spinning this story to suit their agenda. If all the stock os going to Europe then what happened to the stock destined from the drug companies to say Germany. The overall demand for the EU is never going to change. Think about it!! If hey wanted to stop this, it could be done easily but not having a differential pricing. What are we going to do when the pound gets stronger. Is it unethical to import drugs into the UK. The DOH have made millions of pounds of savings from this practice. All I ask is get both sides of the story.

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