Dr Arun Ghosh, 1 March 2016

On 1 March 2016 Good Morning Britain reported on the issue of the current unavailability on the NHS of the Meningitis B vaccine for children over one year old, and recent press reports that private clinics were charging up to £750 for the vaccine.

Due to human error, a graphic caption incorrectly summarized these press allegations, stating: “Some vaccine providers have been charging £750 per dose”. We would like to make clear that this was inaccurate, and that to our knowledge no private clinics have ever charged £750 per dose of vaccine, nor are we aware of any clinics that have in fact charged £750 for a full course of vaccinations.

We had invited Dr Arun Ghosh, who administers the vaccine privately, to take part in the programme. It was not intended to focus on his particular practice, but on the wider issue of whether the press criticism of private practice charging was justified, and whether the availability of NHS vaccinations should be extended beyond infants under 9 months.

However, following the broadcast of the inaccurate information above, and criticism of private clinics in discussion of the issue with another guest, where it was suggested that such clinics were exploiting parents’ fears, Dr Ghosh decided not to take part in the programme. Unfortunately the presenters were not fully informed of his discussions with the producers regarding the reasons for his decision, which we accept was fully justified in the circumstances. The programme presenter later referred to Dr Ghosh by name, repeating the suggestion that private clinics were acting unethically regarding the amount charged to parents for the vaccine.

The programme did state correctly that Dr Ghosh in fact charged £250 for the first dose of vaccine, and £155 each for two further doses of a full course.

We would like to make clear that Good Morning Britain accepts that Dr Ghosh has never charged £750 either per dose or for a full course of vaccine, and we apologize for any suggestion conveyed that he has behaved unethically in this regard. We also wish to express our sincere regret for any distress caused to Dr Ghosh or his family for the manner in which he was referred to in the programme.

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