Branson’s secret GP army procures £40/person mental health pharmaco contract – what’s in it for the pharmaco?

This is about the Wirral not Calderdale or Kirklees – but 999 Call for the NHS acts local and thinks national. Because what is happening elsewhere will hit us soon – cuts and privatisation progress in fits and starts across the fragmented NHS, in a way designed to obscure that this is all the result of  government policies.

Many are the ways in which privatisation – in the shape of tax dodger Richard Branson’s Virgin Care Ltd – slides its tentacles around the NHS.

Wirral GP Federation Ltd – the equivalent of Calderdale’s GP Federation Pennine GP Alliance aka Wainhouse Healthcare Ltd – has as its company secretary Dr Bennett Quinn.

Dr Bennett Quinn is also chair of Peninsula Health LLP and many Wirral GPs are also members of Peninsular Health LLP – as is Virgin Care Ltd

In a move that seems to involve dubious ethics, Wirral GP Federation Ltd has sought out and gained a mental health project contract from Sunovion UK  – a US-Japanese Pharmaco.

Wirral GP Federation Ltd boasts this  is “the first contract to be awarded to GPWFED”. (This is what they call themselves).  So presumably they are hoping for  more.

The Sunovion UK contract is for Wirral GP Federation to conduct comprehensive Health Assessment Checks in General Practice for patients with Severe and Enduring illness and who are on psychotropic drugs. Member GP practices will receive a payment of £40 for each completed Health Check.

Wirral GP Federation Ltd claims,

“This is a unique scheme to improve the care to these patients and the first of its kind in UK.”

GPs selling themselves to a pharmaceutical company to run checks on their patients, who are taking medication of the type produced and marketed by the pharmaco does not exactly sound like an ethical undertaking.

What is Sunovion UK getting – or expecting – in return?

The website of the company’s Massachussetts HQ offers a few clues. Its “marketed and pipeline products for central nervous system disorders” include

“treatments to address schizophrenia, bipolar depression, and partial-onset seizures associated with epilepsy. During this time, the Company launched Latuda® (lurasidone HCI) and Aptiom® (eslicarbazepine acetate) in the U.S. and Canada, as well as LATUDA in Europe.”

It couldn’t be, could it, that WirralGPFed Ltd are selling data about their patients’ responses to pyschotropic drugs to a company with a direct commercial interest in that data – and who produce drugs that the GPs may well be prescribing to patients?

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