“Healthcare is a human right. Nobody should be worried about being able to afford the medicines they need.”Jeremy Corbyn
Visiting a pharmacy in the marginal seat of Watford, Jeremy Corbyn has promised huge step towards a truly universal health service by scrapping prescription charges and taking on big pharma including through creating a new publicly-owned generic drugs manufacturer to supply cheaper medicines to the NHS.
Additionally, after the Queen’s Speech failed to set out any legislation on social care, provided no details of any proposals and did not set a time limit for any reforms, Jeremy set out Labour’s plans to more than double the number of people receiving state-funded care and reduce the number of people facing catastrophic costs in old age for their care.
As Jeremy said, “Healthcare is a human right. Nobody should be worried about being able to afford the medicines they need, and our NHS should not be priced out of providing the drugs people need because of pharmaceutical companies charging extortionate prices for medicines.
“The right to healthcare extends to the right to dignity and security in old age. Under the Tories, our social care sector is in a scandalous state, with one million people not getting the care they need. Labour will right this wrong and introduce personal care free at the point of use, extending state-funded care to hundreds of thousands more people.”
Healthcare workers’ union UNISON welcomed the policy with regards to social care, with Assistant General Secretary Christina McAnea saying “The government’s failure to address the social care crisis has placed an intolerable burden on the NHS, “and “Unison backs any measures that increase access to healthcare and improve the nation’s health.”
This positive response to Jeremy’s pledges today follow on from Jeremy’s pledge for ‘Medicines for the Many’ and to take on big pharma in his speech at Labour Conference, which was welcomed at the time by Global Justice Now Director Nick Dearden, who said “Labour has made a brave start [and] Other parties should follow suit.”
Additionally, Professor Mariana Mazzucato, Director of the University College London Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose, said at the time “It is welcome that the Labour party is addressing key failures of the pharmaceutical sector.
“When the government funds the development of new medicines, it must do so in a systematic way to make sure that the benefits reach the patients who need them.
“Instead, we currently have a system where the risks of innovation are socialised, while the benefits are privatised through dysfunctional uses of intellectual property rights, a financialised business model and a pricing system that does not recognise taxpayer investment.”