DrugScope to close | Charity shops 'must do more' to stop theft | Charity accepts proceeds from Ukip song

Plus: HMRC urged to delay VAT changes on direct mail | RNIB says claims it scuppered drug trial are "absurd" | Money charity saved from closure by anonymous benefactor

DrugScope's website
DrugScope's website

DrugScope, the national membership charity for the drug sector, has announced that it will close because of financial difficulties. Thirteen staff based at its London office will lose their jobs, and the one member of staff working as part of the Making Every Adult Matter coalition will be transferred across to a coalition partner.

Charity shops must do more to protect their stock from theft, according to the new chief executive of the Charity Retail Association. Martin Blackwell, who has led the umbrella body since January, told Third Sector that charity shops needed to train their staff better and look at investing in technology to help combat the theft of donated goods.

The proceeds of the UK Independence Party’s song were donated to another charity after the British Red Cross refused to accept the money, according to a spokesman from the party. However, Ukip will not reveal the name of the charity that benefited from the song, entitled Ukip Calypso.

The Charity Tax Group and the Direct Marketing Association have urged HM Revenue & Customs to delay what they say is a change to the VAT treatment of direct mail, because the government has so far failed to produce guidance on the new arrangements. In December, HMRC said the new arrangements that would increase the VAT bills of some charities would come into force on 1 April. It said that guidance on the change would be published early this year, but this has still to be published, according to the CTG and the DMA.

The sight-loss charity the RNIB has said it is "absurd" to suggest that a drug company could turn to it for help to scupper the trial of a drug after it was named in an investigation into eye drug licensing. A report in the British Medical Journal raised concerns about why a £70 treatment called Avastin was scarcely used in the NHS for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration, and included claims that the drug company Novartis had attempted to derail clinical trials of a rival to its own product.

The Money Charity, formerly known as Credit Action, has reversed a decision to wind up after a private donor came forward to cover its running costs for the next three years. The charity, which provides financial education, particularly to schoolchildren, was set to make a public announcement of its intention to close, but a spokesman for the charity said that the individual, who wishes to remain anonymous, stepped forward before it could do so.

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