Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Lansley`s jobs

The report about former health minister, Andrew Lansley, taking on "three jobs in the private sector" not only speaks volumes about the limited role played by principles in decisions made by our current crop of Tory politicians, but also about the need for reform of rules governing such appointments ( Morning Star,17/11/15). The fact that Lansley is now being paid to advise the drug company, Roche, which maximises its profits from the cancer drugs fund which Lansley himself set up, beggars belief, as does the pharmaceuticals company`s attempts to justify charging £90,000 for a drug to treat one breast cancer patient for a year. Reducing the cost to £60,000 just to enable it to be bought by the fund really does suggest gross profiteering.
   The Advisory Committee on Business Appointments has approved all of his new posts, but insisted Lansley is not allowed to draw on privileged information available to him when in government".There can be very few who do not think that Roche appointed him simply because of what he knows from his time as health secretary, and because he has been key in increasing the "role of the private sector in the NHS"!
Clearly, an obvious need exists for a rule change, at least preventing ex-ministers from taking on related roles, until a minimum of  five years has elapsed since being in government.


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