The revelation comes just days after Theresa May branded NDA’s “unethical” in the light of the recent allegations relating to retail mogul Philip Green.
The Department of Health and Social Care is consulting firms about plans to ensure there is no shortage of supply of medicine after the country leaves the EU on March 29 next year and has made them sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs).
If any pharmaceutical company happens to reveal the details about the plans – breaking the terms of the gagging order – they will be threatened with an injunction.
The details came to light when the Department published a draft NDA in response to a written parliamentary question from Paul Blomfield, Labour MP for Sheffield Central.
Health minister Stephen Barclay said the NDAs, which state that companies must not divulge anything discussed in meetings and refrain from sharing information provided by the Department, enables the government to “talk to the industry in confidence”.
Companies have also barred from taking any papers used in the meetings or making a copy of them.
It comes after the Prime Minister promised to end the use of ‘unethical’ NDAs in light of recent allegations in the House of Lords regarding Philip Green.
The retail mogul has been accused of paying hush money to several people who claim that they are victims of sexual harassment and bullying.
Non-disclosure agreements are commonly used in business to prevent trade secrets or sensitive information from being brought out into the open.
Mike Thompson, CEO of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), told repected politics website Politico that the NDA agreed between the industry and the government would “support effective planning for continued medicines supply in a ‘no deal’ Brexit”, but said failing to reach a deal is “not in the interest of patients in the UK or the EU.”
Last week Matt Hancock, the Health and Social Care Secretary, said he was “confident… so long as everybody does what they need to do” that the UK would have an “unlimited supply of medicines,” regardless of the Brexit outcome.