Iain Duncan Smith has branded the ongoing claim that a Conservative government would “sell the NHS” as a “ludicrous scare story”.
Instead, the former Conservative leader celebrated trade between the UK and international pharmaceutical companies, arguing that it has allowed patients greater access to treatment.
“In the last two years I have campaigned, with many others, for the NHS to access Orkambi for people who have Cystic Fibrosis," he told talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer.
“They negotiated a way with the company producing it and finally they’ve agreed a stable price and we now have the NHS able to give those kids Orkambi.
“Who produced that drug? An American pharmaceutical company."
However, Labour, which has vowed to end privatisation of the health service, has maintained Boris Johnson would put it “up for sale” as part of a post-Brexit trade deal with the US.
Jeremy Corbyn yesterday revealed a 451-page document that he said was “evidence” that the health service is “on the table”.
Mr Duncan Smith dismissed the claims saying the document was a “quite normal, quite standard”.
Instead he accused Mr Corbyn of holding an “absurd position” in opposing a health trade deal with the US.
“They now say that only the NHS can provide services, only they can do it from a nationalised industry – this is madness on stilts.”
Mr Duncan Smith continued: “We want people who come to the NHS to be able to get the very best treatment wherever they can, whenever they can.
“I don’t want them to be told ‘you can’t have these because it’s not produced in the UK and it isn’t produced by a nationalised industry’ – there lies madness.”
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