3millionlives. A cartel in the making? (UK)

Categories: Latest News.

  • This is difficult…you don’t want to be seen to be against an initiative that is supposed to help, but we are not at all happy with how it is going.
  • We ran the MOU past our lawyers, who advised us not to sign it.
  • We volunteered to help the project when it was first mooted but not only have we not heard back, we were not even sent the invitation documents you published.
  • We think this is a Tunstall-driven scheme which has come about as the result of its Parliamentary lobbying activities.
  • Why is only industry being asked to foot the bill? Some of these other organisations that are being invited [universities and charities] are quite well funded.
  • Who is really going to benefit? Only the PR companies, I suspect.
  • We won’t be participating. The £10,000 is a small price for the big companies but it’s a large proportion of our net profits. Then there is the unknown future financial commitment. It looks like an exercise by the large companies to exclude the smaller ones from the market. If they establish the 3ML branding in the NHS as representing ‘trusted’ or ‘government approved’ suppliers then the effect will have been to create a market that excludes us. In effect, it’s a cartel.

And Medilink’s press release on 3ML does nothing to dispel the misgivings: “Medilink UK’s Chairman Tony Davis added: ‘As well as the millions of lives that will be improved through this initiative, there are many Medilink members who stand to benefit hugely from the ‘3millionlives’ campaign. As growing SMEs, they really want the doors to the NHS to be opened, and for healthcare professionals to be actively seeking telehealth and telecare solutions. By joining together, and by working with the Department of Health, they will be in the ideal position to take commercial advantage of the opportunities as they become available.'”


  1. @SirTelehealth

    As a reply to ‘big companies excluding small…’ …..many ‘big’ companies have already invested heavily in building and promoting a credible telehealth service (i.e. not a shifting kit as fast as possible mentality) without any significant return. My straw poll survey from the credible ‘big’ companies is that they are also unwilling to shell out £10k as it is believed this money can be better spent elsewhere and they expect the ‘industry associations’ to be lobbying the government anyway with their existing subscriptions. Twitter @SirTelehealth

  2. Jo

    I suspect that many of the smaller companies that offer consultancy, innovative niche products and training fear that the outcome of the 3ML campaign will be a tariff that can only be collected by a big service provider that can offer an end-to-end solution. Telehealth will then suddenly be accepted by NICE as an important element on clinical pathways for chronic disease, forcing the commissioning groups to buy in a packaged service from one of the big boys. The package will involve supply of kit from their mates and other services, such as installation, cleansing, monitoring etc. from their new mates rather than from the small innovative companies who are already doing it well. There will be a lack of competition, forcing prices up (without improving quality). Doesn’t that sound like a cartel?