THE COMMUNIST Party called for nationalisation of pharmaceutical industry yesterday, after news that multinational Pfizer is set to buy British-based AstraZeneca.
The party warned against mass redundancies and soaring medical costs if the government-backed takeover of AstraZeneca takes place.
“Pfizer have broken assurances to maintain research and development jobs and facilities in the US and Britain before and it would be madness to fall for the same guff twice,” said Communist Party’s political committee member Anita Halpin.
Prior to the Pfizer bid, AstraZeneca had already guaranteed lucrative contracts to supply diagnostic services and drugs to the NHS.
With the coalition’s intent to privatise the NHS, it has nothing to prevent Pfizer to make a staggering profit from buying parts of the system and “ripping off their customers,” added Ms Halpin.
Prime Minister David Cameron has labelled the purchase of AstraZeneca as “absolutely right.”
Pharmaceutical workers’ union Unite announced last night that representatives at the British company had met and made clear they did not support the Pfizer bid.
“It is not in the interests of AstraZeneca workers or the public interest,” Unite said through socialmedia website Twitter.
Ms Halpin argued that the production of medical supplies should be in the hands of the public so to prevent “the fleecing of taxpayers by big business.
“Only public ownership will protect jobs and facilities in Britain’s pharmaceuticals industry, while also safeguarding the interests of NHS patients,” she concluded.