Is this justice?: In The Times today it is... - Thyroid UK

Thyroid UK
109,141 members126,784 posts

Is this justice?

diogenes
diogenes

In The Times today it is reported that the owner of the company that has ripped off the NHS regarding monstrous price hikes of off-patent drugs and medicines (eg T3) has been awarded the OBE "for philanthropy". Doctors and pharmacies are up in arms about this. I wonder whether any activities calling for brainpower still exist in our government and their committees. It really is beyond comment.

60 Replies
oldestnewest

The so called "Honours" system is an absolute joke. Well connected people will get them regardless of their track history or actual contributions. In the circles of "art" and "sports" seems anyone who had ever had a record, appeared in a film or tv show, or played any type of sport will eventually get one, no matter how mediocre their performance.

And no, no justice at all. Slap on the face of patients who have suffered as a result.

Cooper27
Cooper27
in reply to Kitten44

I think it's silly that the queen has 2 events a year, with a target for how many people to honour too. It doesn't give the impression that the honour is all that hard to get... You just have to be a business owner or be famous!

😠😠😠

I'm not being in the least bit political, but he's probably a major party donor. Same as the firm awarded the shipping contract who've no experience, nor own ferrries. See, I wasn't political.

38 degrees do a lot of work to show this sort of thing up. Should I start a petition?

The public should know about this . It won’t only be us who suffer as a result . Such a lot of corruption, beyond belief ☹️☹️

marigold22
marigold22
in reply to Gcart

Gcart . Please do a 38 degrees petition. The public definitely need to know about this. Total corruption. I don't have the energy to start a petition but if you do, please do one. Many thanks

The world is going mad. No honour in the honour system.

knitwitty
knitwitty
in reply to BlueMundo

I've often thought that when they refer to the Honorable member for wherever in Parliament it must be a mistake, since very few of those who make the headlines appear to be Honorable.

Oftentimes I would say they are anything but Honorable and their behaviour in the House of Commons is downright disgraceful!

Agree with the OP regarding the honours system particularly in this case where they have been ripping off the NHS and subsequently denying patients of appropriate treatment. It beggars belief really.

Rant over.

Furface
Furface
in reply to BlueMundo

And no justice in the justice system, no health in the health system. All corrupt.

I think from that we have to conclude that government have their snouts firmly in the trough of Big Pharma. Shocking - absolutely shocking ...

Although lost for adequate words I couldn’t not say something. It’s appalling!

We should not really be too surprised - the average IQ of people working in politics is that of a slice of ryvita. And that is probably doing injustice to the ryvita! 😡

Hidden
Hidden
in reply to Tina_Maria

🤣 well said.

This is just bonkers, you couldn't make it up. I simply despair at all this cronyism.

I think Thyroid UK should do something about this and whatever it is needs to be public and very loud!

Kitten44
Kitten44
in reply to LapisSW

If not a petition as suggested by Gcart why not publish an "open letter" to the Queen, which we can all sign (online), and then have a hard-copy delivered to Buckingham Palace?

No justice. Can only echo everyone else, at best incompetence at worst corruption.

Sadly it is no surprise. Suspected for a long time that it is all about who is funding governments. We supposedly live in a civilised country....really...a democracy....really.....??

Most of the decisions, we think we are having a hand in, voting for and such...do we really? Or have these decisions been made long before the public get to hear, and get asked about it? In my opinion, all big decisions are already decided, and only when the government of the day, decide that they have all their pawns in the right place do they let us into the game. All orchestrated to make it look like we have a choice, when in actual fact the dice has already been rolled. A tick box exercise. Lip service!

T3, decision to remove it has to have been made years ago, hence the price hiking to give them the 'reason', hence the withdrawal, to remove most of the 'evidence of benefit'. `[Note - the two main points flagged up by NHSCC during consultation and since, and the fact that they, themselves, were pushing us all to look at the 'cost' element. A cost element THEY have allowed to materialise? And done nothing about over the years. They didn't push us into proving the 'effective' element? No, they were working so hard in the background, continually encouraging the withdrawal from more and more patients, to eradicate any 'evidence of benefit'.

The Brexit vote? Ask why did Cameron run for the hills when the vote went against him? Because he did not have a plan B. He had made no provisions for the vote going to Exit the EU. He thought he had it all sewn up that the vote would be 'Stay'. I even think that Boris was put as head of Brexit to deter further anyone who was still thinking they would vote out. Let's face it he was seen as a joke, who would vote for him? I think this plan backfired on Cameron and he had left himself nowhere to go. Some choice of leader he was... look at the state he has left the country in. And yet. What comeback has he had? What accountability or responsibility has he had to accept or answer to? NONE. I'll bet he is still sitting pretty.

Trouble with this country is that there is no accountability, no responsibility. These leaders, MP's, other 'influential' people come in do the damage and walk away, just before the final whistle, and then wash their hands of their actions. And they get away with it. Look at what JH did for the NHS. Walks away now, no doubt when the NHS is declared dead and buried he will not be expected to take any responsibility for his actions whilst HM. Yet he is moved into an even better position, no doubt with his eye on the big prize, perhaps being groomed for it.

Sorry, ranting and guess what...I'm not political either! DellFinium

Just so frustrated at the corruption that is so blatant to us, yet acceptable to others.

BP rule the world!

The way they are going BP won't have a human race left to abuse for much longer!

Boris didn't make a bad job of being Lord Mayor of London though.

Oh I don't know about that, he bought water canons that were useless, and invested millions of pounds of public money in a "Garden Bridge" scheme that will never be built, you really have to ask yourself where that money ended up!

SlowDragon
SlowDragonAdministrator
in reply to knitwitty

It makes for pretty depressing reading.

Perhaps he could pay back the lost money himself I believe he gets paid a small fortune to write a weekly column for the Telegraph, somewhere in the region of a quarter of a million £ per year.

You can see why some politicians see their parliamentary job as just providing pocket money when they have other jobs that pay them a small fortune, it also explains why they have zero empathy for the majority for the people in the country.

Wait until one of them gets a thyroid condition that requires T3, they might have a Damascene moment and realise that maybe it should be available after all. On second thoughts they would probably get a private consultant to say they need it and then get around the problems of NHS prescribing protocols, nothing would surprise me!

Whatever anyones opinion of him, and likely that much of his public persona is a 'character' he has created for himself, however, he does have a 'buffoon' reputation, and I do think it was because of this he headed up the Brexit team, a deliberate deterrent. But this did not work out, obviously. Isn't he and Cameron suppose to be friends? It smacked of a set up from the off. And I don't believe for a minute that TM has gone into negotiations intending on a good deal....when she doesn't want it to happen anyway. My hubby said it will never happen. I suppose time will tell.

AllI know UrsaP is that my sister lived in London when he was Mayor and said he was quite good as a Mayor. Much better than the present incumbent I think! I agree with your hubby about TM though and the outcome.

I suspect that he is a lot more capable, and more intelligent, than he comes across. But the 'Buffoon character' he portrays does him no favour and it was this 'character' that was used to deter a brexit vote. And it probably did to some extent. However the was a total lack of understanding of the feelings of too many people.

I still can't get over that other wimp running for the hills....some leader!! And hardly a whisper about him? He dropped the country in the mire with no plan for dealing with it, then took his bat and ball and walked off. He should be held accountable for this mess. But hey! Isn't that all the MPs, directors etc, have to do 'leave the position' to be exonerated from all responsibility, accountability and charges?

If people can be held accountable for 'crimes' committed in the past, then these MP's and leaders and decision makers should be too.

My faith in our leadership, no matter who is at the helm has dwindled to nothing over the years.

I really think he is more capable and intelligent and he really needs to show it now. Too many opt out when the going gets tough, and they should certainly be held accountable when something goes wrong.

🤬🤬🤬

I'm sorry but their definition of the word "philanthropy" must be different to mine.

Trebles all round, eh chaps?

Disgusting.

Here is the full report by Billy Kember

A multimillionaire businessman whose company’s drug price rises have cost the NHS £50 million was appointed OBE in the new year’s honours list, The Times can reveal. Vijay Patel, 69, set up a company that exploited a loophole in health service rules to increase the price of old medicines for which it was the sole supplier by up to 2,500 per cent. The firm, Atnahs, raised the price of a packet of antidepressants from £5.71 to £154. An insomnia treatment now costs more than £138 instead of £12.10. Although the practice was exposed in 2016 by a front-page Times investigation, prices have not been reduced. The increases meant that seven of the company’s medicines alone cost the NHS an extra £16.3 million in 2017. Despite this, Mr Patel was appointed OBE last week for his “services to business and philanthropy”. His name was listed among more than 1,000 people given honours. Others receiving the OBE included three senior NHS staff who led the responses to terrorist attacks in Manchester and London.

The decision to include Mr Patel on the list designed to recognise those who have “committed themselves to serving and helping Britain” has prompted an outcry from doctors and pharmacists. It will also raise questions about vetting by the independent committee that makes decisions on honours. Jon Trickett, shadow minister for the Cabinet Office, said: “It is an outrage that someone can be honoured for business and philanthropy when they have allegedly taken money out of our NHS through loopholes in the rules.” The Labour MP said that there was “absolutely no circumstance in which such behaviour should be rewarded”. Andrew Hill, an expert on drug pricing and senior research fellow at the University of Liverpool, said: “At a time of acute shortages in the NHS, why are we rewarding the owner of a company which overcharged the NHS by millions of pounds?” He added that the high prices charged by Atnahs were an “ongoing problem”. The abuse of NHS pricing rules by companies including Atnahs and Amdipharm, a company co-founded by Mr Patel and sold to a private equity firm for £367 million in 2012, led to the government changing the law. The companies exploited rules that allowed them to drop brand names from old medicines and sell them as unbranded generics. The NHS relies on market forces to set the prices of such drugs but the companies were typically the sole supplier, allowing them to charge what they wished. A bill passed in 2017 gives ministers the power to impose lower prices if taxpayers are being overcharged but the health secretary is yet to use it. During a Commons debate on the bill, Atnahs was criticised by name. Kevin Foster, a Conservative MP, suggested that Atnahs’ business model was designed “to take advantage of a loophole in the legislation and ultimately not to make a profit but to profiteer, at the expense of the NHS and people who need those treatments”. The Competition and Markets Authority is conducting several inquiries into the pricing of medicines, including at least five in which the watchdog has not publicly disclosed the names of the companies involved. It is understood that the authority is not consulted about honours. Mr Patel’s business success, with his brother, Bhikhu, has been celebrated as a rags-to-riches tale. They arrived in 1967 as penniless migrants, with Vijay Patel training as a chemist. He built up a chain of pharmacies before moving into the sale of medicines, initially with the wholesaler Waymade and then as a supplier with Amdipharm and Atnahs. The entrepreneur lives in a home near Chelmsford, which he bought for £7.5 million more than a decade ago. In recent years he and his brother set up the Shanta Foundation as the “philanthropic arm” of one of their businesses. It is a health and education charity working in Kenya, India and Britain. In 2016 Vijay Patel donated £1 million to his alma mater, De Montfort University, Leicester, for bursaries and research equipment. A building on campus was named after him. Mr Patel and Atnahs declined to comment but the company has said that its “pricing continues to be competitively benchmarked”. A Cabinet Office source said that the nomination process was confidential but that robust probity checks had been carried out.

linda96
linda96
in reply to diogenes

It’s obvious ‘probity’ is totally missing. Perhaps De Montford University were the sponsors of the OBE recommendation? I wonder how long it will take for his brother to get an OBE?

Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

LapisSW
LapisSW
in reply to diogenes

Thank you Diogenes. I'm sending this to my MP.

shaws
shawsAdministrator
in reply to LapisSW

Good idea - and I will also send to my MP. It is more than outrageous and some might say a visit to a 'prison' wouldn't be too harsh for the person at the top of company what seems like fraud to me.

DippyDame
DippyDame
in reply to diogenes

"A drug company boss who was appointed OBE despite accusations that his company had exploited the NHS by imposing huge price rises was not vetted by the Queen’s local representative.

Vijay Patel, 69, who was honoured for services to business and philanthropy last week, set up Atnahs, a company that bought the rights to old medicines and raised prices by up to 2,500 per cent"

The Times 9 Jan

Its really shocking how many different people and agencies have messed up to make this possible. Mr Patel hiked the price, but why was no one at all inside the NHS putting a stop to it over the years?

Now there are improved powers to reduce the prices, but still no one has used them!

But at the same time CCGs have been much quicker to act in cutting off patient's prescriptions, and the NHS have had time to change guidelines to deny even more patients, and condemn T3 even further.

Powerful friends in high places all with snouts in the trough?

What a joke 😡😤

Rather than petition for thyroid / treatment , lack of, something more about Patel ‘s pharmaceuticals charging increases for many more drugs. I think it might attract more public outrage.

The number of people using their product would obviously be greater.

Any thoughts ? Wonder how many people realise how we are being ripped off by these companies . News doesn’t always get across !

I think that everyone should be shouting from the rooftops about this. A petition to have the honour removed? Letters to our MPs? Action by Thyroid UK on our behalf? Letters to the press? Any other ideas? Not only has this man made bucket loads of money by nefarious means in exploiting this loophole, but he has been responsible for affecting the health of thousands of people by denying them medication they need and deserve to have. It is scandalous.

stiltzski
stiltzski
in reply to stiltzski

I have written to my MP, attaching a copy of the Times article. Hopefully others here have done the same?

SlowDragon
SlowDragonAdministrator

I would suggest that anyone who has had their T3 prescription stopped or can't get T3 treatment started on NHS, considers writing to all the board of Governors of De Montfort University, the student union at the university and their MP too

dmu.ac.uk/research/research...

dmu.ac.uk/about-dmu/univers...

demontfortsu.com/yourunion/...

£1million donation is chicken feed on that level of wealth

businessinsider.com/the-ric...

Marz
Marz
in reply to SlowDragon

What about the body allegedly checking out the nominations ? Could we somehow let them know what they have done ? ...

Marz
Marz
in reply to SlowDragon

He's one of the governors at the University. 😊

shaws
shawsAdministrator
in reply to SlowDragon

The instant withdrawal of T3, as we know, came as a huge shock to patients who were well on it and then, suddenly and without notice, they were left stranded and the anguish at having no T3 at all was/is a huge strain.

From what I’ve read Mr Patel’s company do not supply Liiothyronine but other common drugs. NHS T3 is supplied by Concordia who have been under investigation for the same issue. Is that correct? Just getting my facts right!

SlowDragon
SlowDragonAdministrator
in reply to Hoxo

Concordia now own it, but are not the instigators

mjauk.org/wp-content/upload...

SlowDragon
SlowDragonAdministrator

This article in FT from 2012 about sums it up ...

Low volume Generic medications seen as "little jewellery boxes"

ft.com/content/5ba9dafe-12f...

"Cinven is hoping to exploit the stable growth of these cheap off-patent medicines that are sold in low volumes and with limited risk of price competition.

These relatively neglected drugs, which Cinven partner Supraj Rajagopalan dubbed “little jewellery boxes”, can still attract strong sales. Amdipharm generates annual revenues of more than £110m

Cinven has agreed to buy Basildon-based Amdipharm from Vijay and Bhikhu Patel, the Indian millionaires behind Waymade, the global pharmaceutical company

Patel has friends in high places. Here's his profile on the DeMontfort university site:

dmu.ac.uk/About-DMU/Univers...

shaws
shawsAdministrator
in reply to Quokka

Maybe we should also write to the House of Lords who were shocked at the price increase for T3.

This is just scandalous. The people who choose who gets on the new years Honours list want theirs heads testing.I just can't believe what I'm reading.

What bulls**t. But why am I not surprised. After all, Mussolini, Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceaucescu and Mugabe all got knighthoods too. Makes his crime seem less awful in comparison...

LAHs
LAHs
in reply to MissGrace

You missed out the consideration of Donald Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize.

I have written to my MP and Thyroid UK about this today.

knitwitty
knitwitty
in reply to LapisSW

Please keep updated with regards to their response.

Lost for words!

Gee diogenes, that makes me feel like I want to throw up.

shaws
shawsAdministrator

I think a letter is due to go to the Queen - and the Owner of the pharmaceutical company should hand back his 'gong'.

In today's Times, we now read that the normal practice of consulting the Queen's local representative of the awardee (the local Lord Lieutenant) as to the worthiness of the recipient, was never carried out as is normally the case. This should be done so that if there are local peccadilloes that the awardee has been guilty of but never charged or publicised, they can form an argument against the award.

Can you post a link to this article or copy and paste please, Diogenes?

You may also like...