A senior NHS official and a GP appeared in court on Monday accused of accepting more than £75,000 between them in bribes to promote specific drug companies and their products to GPs.
Paul Jerram and Dr David Turner are accused of accepting payments to set up meetings between pharmaceutical companies and ‘advisory boards’ responsible for deciding which drugs are used by GPs and hospitals.
Jerram’s alleged activities first came to light in 2015 as a result of an undercover Daily Telegraph investigation.
The Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority launched an investigation and Jerram, who was head of medicines management for the Isle of Wight’s Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), was suspended.
Jerram, 67, from Shanklin on the Isle of Wight, and Turner, 64, a GP on the island, are alleged to have been working with businessman Noel Staunton.
Staunton, 59, ran pharmaceutical consultancy company 3i Consultancy limited, and he is said to have ‘corruptly’ offered money to Jerram and Turner to promote drugs being manufactured by companies he represented.
Cathal Daly, 49, an NHS pharmacist at Elmham Surgery, Norfolk, also appeared in court accused of agreeing to receive a £100 per month retainer from Staunton in exchange for ‘access to confidential medical records and databases’.
He is also alleged to have accepted £1,000 for helping the South Norfolk CCG sign off on a rebate deal with a drug company.
The four men denied the charges at the hearing at Southampton Crown Court on Monday.
Jerram denied eight separate offences dating back to 2011 related to bribery and ‘improper performance of his functions’ as an NHS worker.
Turner, from Ventnor on the Isle of Wight, faces six counts of bribery relating to the same offences.
Staunton, from Seaview on the Isle of Wight, faces three charges of bribery. Two of which relate to the offers and alleged payments made to Jerram and Turner.
Judge Christopher Parker QC scheduled a five week trial, beginning on May 4 2021, and told the defendants they would remain on unconditional bail.