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Hospital Healthcare Europe

NHS Trust sold £4m drugs abroad

17 February, 2010  

A hospital trust has denied selling drugs that were in short supply in the UK abroad.

The Royal Surrey County Hospital (RSCH) NHS Foundation Trust has admitted selling more than £4m worth of drugs to other countries, making it a profit of £300,000 during the past year.

The Department of Health has declared the practice “wholly unacceptable”, leading to a shortage of essential drugs in the UK.

But the Guildford-based trust said it had sold the drugs under licence and denied it sold any which were in short supply in the UK.

The trust’s activities were exposed in an investigation by the Health Service Journal which involved checking information obtained through a freedom of information request with the Trust’s finance reports.

A RSCH Trust spokeswoman said: “The Royal Surrey County Hospital has a history of manufacturing and supplying drugs to other health care organisations under a licence which we hold.

“We have more recently also supplied a wholesaler with drugs that are widely available.

“The amount of income received from this source in 2009/10 is estimated at £4.6 million, contributing a margin to the trust of around 6%, or £300,000.

“At no time were drugs supplied which were on the PASA list of drugs in short supply.

“The board decided to cease trading in January 2010 and the trust refutes the statement that it has made millions.”

Copyright Press Association 2010
The Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust