A report in the Financial Times on 27 Feb stated that “local leaders are offering leading drugmakers, including GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Novartis, access to Greater Manchester’s sophisticated electronic patient record system to test the real-world outcomes of their drugs”, Keep Our NHS Public Spokesperson Hugh Caffrey said:
It seems that Greater Manchester is being turned into a med-lab for big pharma, and our sick and injured into unpaid guinea pigs, without a whisper of local publicity. And it’s not hard to see why, when our NHS is being handed over to the private companies then our patients will sure follow. And when we’ve not been asked whether we want our NHS privatised, it’s no surprise that we haven’t been consulted on our apparent new role as profit-feeding guinea pigs.
The big question is, where do Greater Manchester’s political leaders stand on this, not least, Labour’s former health minister and mayoral front-runner Andy Burnham? We expect to see Mr Burnham and his colleagues joining us in condemnation of these plans and demanding their immediate withdrawal.
This is yet another reason we will be joining tens of thousands of people marching in London this Saturday to say – “It’s our NHS”, it should not belong to the pharma companies or to those who see patients as lab rats.