The Guild of Hospital Pharmacists (GHP) backed AstraZeneca’s rejection of a final bid from Pfizer today (Monday 19 May) warning that a takeover could result in rising prices for medicines because of a shrinking market which in turn would put the NHS under further financial pressure.
The 4,000 strong guild, which is part of Unite the union, also expressed concerns that many clinical advances in drug therapy could be put at risk and that a ‘disinvestment’ in pharmaceutical products would pose a risk to the NHS.
The warning follows AstraZeneca’s rejection of a final £69 billion takeover offer from Pfizer, who said the deal would bring “uncertainty and risk.”
Commenting, Dave Thornton the president of the Guild of Hospital Pharmacists, said: “Pfizer’s takeover bid of AstraZeneca raises major concerns for hospital pharmacists if it were to go through.
“It poses a serious potential risk to the NHS from the disinvestment in pharmaceutical products and could result in prices for medicines going up as the market narrows, putting further financial pressures on our NHS.
“The highly developed research and development pharmaceutical base in the UK has enabled many clinical advances in drug therapy which could be put at serious risk if this takeover were to go ahead.
“Some of our leading pharmacists could lose their jobs resulting in a loss of expertise and knowledge, setting back the opportunity the UK has to advance treatment of disease. Ultimately patients and the public would be put at risk if the takeover went ahead.”
For further information please contact Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869.
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Notes to editors
• Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.