Saturday 3 August 2019 / 10:23 PM Health / Jonathan Ashworth / Trade

Costs of some common treatments could rise sevenfold with US trade deal as Trump looks to crackdown on “foreign freeloading”

New analysis by the Labour Party has revealed that the cost of some of the most common treatments such as asthma, diabetes and cancer could increase by as much as seven times if the UK strikes a free trade deal with the US.

President Trump and senior members of his cabinet have stated that they would use trade deals to end “foreign freeloading” on drug prices and push up prices to bring them closer to US levels. This is reflected in the US Government’s official negotiating objectives for a trade deal with the UK, which calls for ‘full-market access’ for pharmaceutical products.

Academics from the University of Liverpool found:

• Novorapid, a treatment for diabetes, costs seven and a half times as much in the US as in the UK, making the estimated cost of a 10ml vial £105.60, compared to £14.08 in the UK.
• Spiriva, a treatment for Asthma, costs nearly six times as much, with an estimated US cost of £194.30 per 30 capsules compared to £33.50 in the UK.
• Neluasta, a drug that helps fight infection during chemotherapy, is nearly three and a half times more expensive in the US.

On average, the world’s top twenty best selling prescription were over three times more expensive in the US than in the UK.

Jonathan Ashworth MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, said:

“Boris Johnson wants to crash out of the EU without a deal and go cap in hand to his good friend Donald Trump for a trade deal that will drive up the cost of vital treatments and pave the way for US corporations to help themselves to parts of our NHS.

“Our health service is already on its knees after nine years of cuts by Conservative governments. It can’t take much more.

“Boris Johnson can’t be trusted with our NHS.”