'Only public ownership will protect jobs and facilities in Britain's pharmaceuticals industry, while also safeguarding the interests of NHS patients', Anita Halpin the Communist Party's political committee on Wednesday evening.

She was arguing against the takeover of the British-based company AstraZeneca by US multinational giant Pfizer, which is being backed by Tory Prime Minister David Cameron and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
Business Secretary Vince Cable and Labour Party leader Ed Miliband are believed to favour a government inquiry into whether the biggest corporate takeover in British history would be in the 'public interest'.
'Pfizer have broken assurances to maintain R&D jobs and facilities in the US and Britain before and it would be madness to fall for the same guff twice', Ms Halpin pointed out.
The CP trade union organiser argued that the US corporation was primarily interested in dodging higher US taxes on profits and buying into the NHS which, she said, is 'up for sale'. AstraZeneca already has lucrative contracts to supply diagnostic services as well as drugs and has purchased an extensive database of NHS in-patent records.
'Both companies are multinational corporations which have been slashing R&D jobs and ripping off their customers in order to maximise profits for shareholders', Ms Halpin accused, revealing that the annual NHS drugs bill of £11bn allows for profit margins of up to 30 per cent on each product, on top of a margin for R&D investment.
'Instead of subsidising "Big Pharma", we should take a leaf out of Nye Bevan's book In Place of Fear (1952), when the founder of our NHS proposed that medical supplies be produced by public enterprise to prevent the fleecing of taxpayers by big business', she suggested.

The CP political committee also decided to:
Express solidarity with railway staff, firefighters, teachers and other workers taking industrial action on pay, pensions and other terms and conditions of employment.
Welcome the prospect of coordinated action on local government pay.
Urge a massive turnout for the People's Assembly 'No More Austerity - Demand the Alternative' demonstration and free festival in London on June 21.
Applaud the failure of celebrities in recent court cases to escape justice for sex offences.
Condemn the decision by the Ukrainian Duma to ban Communist MPs from parliamentary proceedings.