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NHS purchasing subject to wide variations in medtech prices

This article was originally published in Clinica

Executive Summary

Evidence has emerged of significant variations in the price being paid by National Health Service (NHS) trusts for healthcare supplies. The problem is highlighted by John Neilson, managing director of NHS Shared Business Services, in an article published by The Times newspaper (3 January). Mr Neilson claimed that around 12% of the £12bn ($19bn) spent by the NHS each year on medical equipment is being wasted through overpayment. An unspecified Medtronic pacemaker is cited as an example of the “vast” variations in purchasing price, with 19 different prices among the eight trusts that buy it. NHS Shared Business Services was established in 2005 as a public-private partnership (with 50% government ownership).

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