I have been an avid reader of HSJ for the last 10 years, although for all of that time I have worked in the pharmaceutical industry.

I have found its content usually objective and non-partisan - except wherever and whenever the pharmaceutical industry is mentioned.

I was therefore disappointed to read Michael White's emotional and inaccurate fat-cat comments (politics, 1 April) recycling similar ill-informed comments by Labour MP Peter Bradley, a well-known critic of the industry.

Drug firms do not 'push expensive branded drugs in hospitals as cheap loss-leaders... at far greater cost'.

The truth is that the Department of Health sets drug prices and profits through the pharmaceutical price regulation scheme, and community prices by the drug tariff.

Hospital pharmacy departments often insist on substantial discounting, and the industry would be happy not to do this as it hits profits (for which the industry should not apologise). So the industry does not overcharge the NHS, and the community price is the right set price - not the hospital one.

Alan Jones

Managing director

AJC Healthcare

Petersfield

Hants