Anthony Tabatznik

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Anthony Tabatznik is the former chair of pharmaceutical companies Generics UK and Amerpharm, which he sold 50% of in 1994 to the German drugs firm Merck, for around £102 million and has since sold off the rest. He gave more than £5,000 to the Labour Party in 1998 and £25,000 in 2002.[1]

He is director of the Oxford Institute for Yiddish Studies and lives in St Johns Wood in North London.

£400 million NHS fraud?

Tabatznik is described as being a 'boss' for Generics UK during the time of an alleged price fixing fraud of an estimated £400 million from the NHS[2].

In 2002, the Serious Fraud Office began investigations in relation to allegations of price fixing by 6 pharmaceutical companies. The six companies were[3]:

The Daily Mail reports[4] that 'NHS investigators claim that in 1997 and 1998 senior representatives from the seven firms met near Heathrow and agreed to act together'. According to the NHS's Claim Form, 'A series of meetings followed at which the defendants negotiated a sophisticated scheme by means of which the prices and supply of penicillins in the UK market could be controlled and manipulated'. It is alleged that this involved 'raising prices and restricting supply' in order to 'almost quadruple the cost of the common antibiotic amoxicillin'. The allegations also relate to the price fixing of over 30 other drugs. The Independent also adds the claims that, at the Heathrow meeting, the senior representatives of the firms 'considered the possibility of arrangements designed to reduce competition in the UK..' and agreed to 'refuse to sell the drugs to the NHS below an agreed price'[5]. The Sunday Times reported in 2002 that 'Executives are said to have held a secret meeting in offices in Kensington High Street, London, in July 1998 to review their plot and extend it to overseas markets. It is claimed the groups lied about supplies of warfarin to force the price up'[6]. The report continues by stating that the 'Government alleges' that...

'In 11 months in 1997 Regent increased revenue on sales of warfarin by 140% though the volume of its supplies remained mostly the same. This gave the company Pounds 750,000 in extra revenue. Goldshield increased the price of one pack of drugs from Pounds 6.94 to Pounds 20.82 at around the same time'.

Tax loophole

In an article in 2002 on the subject of how 'Rich people are costing Britain millions in lost tax by not registering their houses in their own names', the Guardian reports that Tabatznik's north London home is owned by a Panama company.[7]. The article claims that through the exploitation of legal loopholes 'wealthy individuals... appear to be enjoying the country's choicest property virtually tax-free'. The article also mentions Margaret Thatcher, Mohamed Al Fayed, David Potter, Christopher Ondaatje, Lakshmi Mittal, Uri David, Rupert Allason, Wafic Said, Prince Bandar and Isaac Kaye as others who are not the registered owners of their homes who may benefit from such a loophole.

Tabatznik's home in St Johns Wood Park, north London is registered to Scarlet Corporation Inc. of Panama. He is of South African origin with non-domicile status in the UK. It is estimated that he could potentially make savings in the region of £500,000 in stamp duty and inheritance tax[8].


  1. The Guardian 'Special Investigation: Tax loopholes on homes benefit the rich and cost UK millions: Choice homes, virtually tax free'. 25 May 2002
  2. Oliver, J. (2002) 'Blair backer faces probe over NHS 'price fixing'; Labour benefactor was boss of drugs company under investigation by Fraud Office' Mail on Sunday. 21st April 2002
  3. Serious Fraud Office Suspected fraud on the National Health Service Press release 10th April 2002. Accessed 4th April 2008
  4. NEWLING, D. (2003) Drug firms 'in price-fix scam'. The Daily Mail. 22nd december 2003
  5. Burleigh, J. (2003) 'NHS TO SUE SEVEN DRUG FIRMS FOR FIXING PRICE' OF MEDICINES'. The Independent. 22nd December 2003
  6. Calvert, J. (2002) 'Government sues drug giants for 'cheating' NHS'. Sunday Times. 22nd December 2002
  7. Evans, R & Hencke, D. (2002) 'Tax loopholes on homes benefit the rich and cost UK millions'. The Guardian 25th May 2002. Accessed 22nd May 2008
  8. The Guardian 'Special Investigation: Tax loopholes on homes benefit the rich and cost UK millions: Choice homes, virtually tax free'. 25th May 2002