The financial cost of the NHS is growing at such a rate that, increasingly, the government will struggle to fund it. Looking for new ways to raise capitol will not solve the underlying issues . We must uphold our traditional values about the NHS and the rights of all citizens to free healthcare; I propose we achieve this by banning patent rights on pharmaceuticals.
By removing medical patents pharmaceutical companies would provide "for strong price competition between pharmaceutical suppliers and result in considerable savings to the NHS", they would be unable to make profit from manipulating the status of their products, or to deny their products to the poor.
A great deal of medical research comes from tax-payer funded universities and charities; pharmaceutical companies then fund the trials, gain the patent and then hold a monopoly on the treatment that people rely on to survive.
If financial rewards are to be given they should go to the doctors, nurses and other professionals who research, diagnose and administer treatment, not to usurious shareholders.
Available treatments, often costing pennies to manufacture, are sold at such prices that PCT's are unable to afford them, often leading to regional variabilities and postcode lotteries.
Why is this idea important?
Ending medical patents will be important because it will strengthen the NHS, provide citizens with greater access to medical treatment and prevent Healthcare from degenerating into a profit-based consumer industry.
To deny patients the right to medical treatment in order to protect the profits of shareholders in medical companies is morally corrupt. Allowing drugs companies to hold patents on medical equipment and pharmaceuticals is tantamount to allowing them to sell health, life and liberty.