[Ip-health] Guardian: Andrew Lansley takes post advising drugs firm involved in dispute with NHS
thiru at keionline.org
Mon Nov 16 16:34:59 PST 2015
Andrew Lansley takes post advising drugs firm involved in dispute with NHS
Former health secretary declares three more private sector jobs roles on
House of Lords register of interests
Rowena Mason Political correspondent
Monday 16 November 2015 09.00 GMT
Andrew Lansley, the former health secretary, has taken on three more
private sector jobs, including advising a pharmaceuticals firm at the
centre of a row over the price it charges the NHS for cancer drugs.
Despite David Cameron’s promise in 2010 to end the “revolving door” between
Whitehall and the private sector, the recently ennobled Tory peer has
declared work as an adviser to Roche, the Swiss drugs company, and as an
adviser to private equity firm Blackstone on investments in the health
Roche has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the cancer drugs fund
that Lansley set up in 2010 to pay for life-extending medicines that were
considered too expensive by the NHS.
His work involves advising on “pharmaceutical supply and pricing issues in
Europe” until the end of November, according to his House of Lords register
A controversy broke out in September when it emerged that the company’s
breast cancer drug, Kadcyla, was to be dropped by the fund because of the
£90,000 per patient per year price – although Roche claimed it was closer
to £70,000. A deal has since been struck to bring the cost down to £60,000,
allowing it to remain on the fund’s list.
Lansley, who is considered the architect of the coalition’s controversial
NHS changes that critics say have led to greater privatisation, is also
giving “advice on industry” to Blackstone, which was criticised for its
previous ownership of Southern Cross care homes, which failed under a
mountain of debt in 2011 five years after being sold by the company.
A letter approving the Blackstone job from the advisory committee on
business appointments (Acoba) says Lansley’s work would be in “assessing
value in investment opportunities, primarily in healthcare, working
approximately two days per month”.
A third role is acting as an adviser to the chair and executive director of
UKActive, a fitness industry trade body that counts Coca-Cola as one of its
sponsors and has a representative of the drinks company on its board.
Lansley chaired the group’s national conference last week, which was
attended by government ministers.
Tanni Grey-Thompson, the paralympian and chair of UKActive, defended its
links to Coca-Cola in response to media criticism in October, saying it
would work with anyone who had a role to play in getting “more people, more
active, more often”.
In October, it emerged Lansley has also taken up work advising corporate
clients on innovation in healthcare for management consultants Bain &
Company, as well as working for a consultancy set up by his wife called Low
Associates for which he would provide “expertise on competition, economic
regulation, health and social care, local government and the communications
Lansley told the Guardian that none of the roles involved lobbying the
government and all had been notified to Acoba. The Tory peer has taken on
the private sector work since stepping down as an MP at May’s election.
ACOBA said it had approved the roles at Bain and Blackstone in July and
UKActive and Low Associates in June, subject to a two-year ban on lobbying
starting from his last day as a minister in 2014 and on condition that he
did not draw on privileged information that was available to him when in
government. It is understood Lansley had mentioned the work for Roche in
correspondence with Acoba.
Lansley became health secretary in 2010 and was replaced by Jeremy Hunt in
2012 shortly after the British Medical Association (BMA) voted in favour of
his resignation and staged a day of action against the government’s NHS
pensions reform. He then became leader of the House of Commons.
Cameron attempted to ensure that Lansley became the next UN under-secretary
general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief this year, but his
efforts were thwarted. The UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, announced he
would appoint the former UK international development minister, Stephen
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