Log in
E-mail
Password
Remember
Forgot password ?
Become a member for free
Sign up
Sign up
Settings
Settings
Dynamic quotes 
OFFON

4-Traders Homepage  >  Equities  >  London Stock Exchange  >  AstraZeneca plc    AZN   GB0009895292

SummaryQuotesChartsNewsAnalysisCalendarCompanyFinancialsConsensusRevisions 
News SummaryMost relevantAll newsSector newsTweets 

UK Lawmakers Say Parallel Trade Causing Drug Shortages

share with twitter share with LinkedIn share with facebook
share via e-mail
0
05/15/2012 | 02:28pm CET

-- Parliamentary group says urgent action needed to end UK drug shortages

-- Blames European 'parallel trade' in medicines for drug shortages

-- Lawmakers say situation will worsen without corrective action

-- Says possible prohibition of drug exports needs to be considered

(Adds comment from group's chairman, the pharmaceutical industry, an analyst and background.)

 
    By Sten Stovall 
    Of  
 

The U.K. is being drained of crucial medicines by exporters who sell them on elsewhere at higher prices, putting patients' well-being at risk, U.K. lawmakers said Tuesday.

Parliament's All-Party Pharmacy Group called on the coalition government to find effective ways to restrict this so-called parallel trade, which is legal under European Union law but has long been condemned by drug makers. In the past, drug makers have complained about cheap parallel imports flooding into the country.

"The parallel export of medicines intended for the U.K. market is undermining the effective functioning of the U.K. medicines supply chain, and putting patients' well-being at risk," the APPG said in its report.

It noted that while European law provides for the free movement of goods across borders within the E.U., there is also scope to exempt certain goods if their free movement threatens public health.

"We believe the government needs to consider the use of this exemption in the best interests of U.K. patients," the report said.

Supporters of parallel trade in medicines say that it helps stimulate competition and keep drug prices low across Europe while critics believe it disrupts supplies and prevents patients getting access to drugs at prices they can afford.

Pharmaceutical industry experts say a price gap on some medicines, fuelled by a relatively weak pound in the past and higher prices in parts of Europe compared with subsidized prescription charges in the U.K., is behind a shortage of some drugs. Medicines are exported elsewhere by middlemen such as wholesalers or pharmacies seeking quick, larger profits, meaning supplies can become exhausted quickly.

"The issue has become more acute thanks to the drug price cuts that have been pushed through in several European countries over the past three years, which have resulted in bigger disparities in prices - and therefore potentially higher profits for traders," said Ana Nicholls, healthcare analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Drug manufacturers have tried restrict the practice by imposing quota limits for some drugs in a bid to stop such exports. But the British lawmakers said such action has made the situation worse in the country by restricting the amount of drugs in the supply chain.

APPG Chairman Kevin Barron called on the government to act.

"Other countries experiencing the same problem are now looking into the possibility of prohibiting the export of medicines, and this government needs to urgently look at what they can learn from this," Barron said. In particular, the U.K. government must study the French government's recent proposal to effectively curtail the export of medicines, he added.

The lawmakers' report criticized the U.K.'s Department of Health and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency for poorly monitoring of the problem.

"The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has pledged to address shortages and to tackle those in the supply chain who are not meeting their obligations. However, beset by a lack of market-wide data the regulator does not even know which products are in shortage, much less by whom they are being exported."

"The Department of Health has also seemed reluctant to take action without having hard evidence that patients have been affected," it added.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health said the situation was difficult to monitor.

"There are nearly 900 million prescriptions dispensed a year, almost 11,000 community pharmacies and some 16,000 medicines, so some shortages and delivery delays are inevitable," the spokesperson said. "We will carefully consider the recommendations the All-Party Pharmacy Group make in their report."

The MHRA declined to comment but the U.K.'s pharmaceutical industry broadly welcomed the report's conclusions.

"We are satisfied that the APPG has acknowledged that diversion of U.K. medicines stock to other countries by a minority of pharmacists and other traders has created significant challenges for companies supplying medicines to U.K. patients, which must be addressed," a spokesperson for AstraZeneca PLC (AZN) said.

But Stephen Whitehead, who heads the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, said the lawmakers' recommendations don't go far enough.

"Without the legal separation of pharmacy wholesaling and dispensing activities, the industry is unable to prioritize pharmacists whose primary concern is U.K. patients, over those who are selling medicines abroad for a profit and causing the problems in the supply chain," he said. "The pharmaceutical industry will continue to work closely with pharmacists, wholesalers, and the Department of Health to help improve this situation."

-By Sten Stovall, Dow Jones Newswires; +44 207 842 9292; sten.stovall@dowjones.com

share with twitter share with LinkedIn share with facebook
share via e-mail
0
Latest news on ASTRAZENECA PLC
05:21p ASTRAZENECA : Big pharma perspective on adaptive clinical trial designs
07:51a PAIN THERAPEUTICS : Agenda Released for 17th Annual Pain Therapeutics Summit Fea..
01/21 PAIN THERAPEUTICS : Agenda Released for 17th Annual Pain Therapeutics Summit Fea..
01/20 European shares ease ahead of Trump inauguration
01/20 Bristol-Myers shares fall on lung cancer timeline setback
01/19 ASTRAZENECA : Big Pharma Perspective on Adaptive Clinical Trial Designs
01/19 ASTRAZENECA : Novel Anti-IL-6 Antibody for Rheumatoid Arthritis from WuXi-MedImm..
01/19 AstraZeneca zooms by 2.84% on reports of granting rights to Pfizer
01/19 ASTRAZENECA : Luke Miels appointed President, Global Pharmaceuticals, GSK | GSK
01/19 ASTRAZENECA : Receives 2017 CSO50 Award for use of Skyhigh Networks in Cloud Sec..
More news
Sector news : Pharmaceuticals - NEC
01/20 European shares ease ahead of Trump inauguration
01/20 Bristol-Myers shares fall on lung cancer timeline setback
01/19DJRival to EpiPen Allergy Treatment to Return to Market--Update
01/19DJRival to EpiPen Allergy Treatment to Return to Market
01/19 Davos CEOs 'go local' on supply chain in Trump era
More sector news : Pharmaceuticals - NEC
News from SeekingAlpha
03:36p BIOTECH FORUM DAILY DIGEST : : Opdivo's Setback - Focus Feature On Fibrogen
02:29p Bristol Looks To Exploit Opdivo's Liver Cancer Advantage
11:50a Opportunities In China's Healthcare Market
01/22 WEEK IN REVIEW : WuXi AppTec Acquires HD Biosciences In China CRO Tieup
01/20 ASCO-GI : Opdivo Heads Close Pack Of Anti-PD-1s In Gastric Cancer
Advertisement
Financials ($)
Sales 2016 22 634 M
EBIT 2016 6 153 M
Net income 2016 2 496 M
Debt 2016 11 367 M
Yield 2016 5,19%
P/E ratio 2016 24,95
P/E ratio 2017 24,79
EV / Sales 2016 3,49x
EV / Sales 2017 3,70x
Capitalization 67 610 M
More Financials
Chart ASTRAZENECA PLC
Duration : Period :
AstraZeneca plc Technical Analysis Chart | AZN | GB0009895292 | 4-Traders
Full-screen chart
Technical analysis trends ASTRAZENECA PLC
Short TermMid-TermLong Term
TrendsBullishNeutralNeutral
Technical analysis
Income Statement Evolution
More Financials
Consensus
Sell
Buy
Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 30
Average target price 64,4 $
Spread / Average Target 20%
Consensus details
EPS Revisions
More Estimates Revisions
Managers
NameTitle
Pascal Soriot Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director
Leif Valdemar Johansson Non-Executive Chairman
Pam P. Cheng Executive VP-Operations & Information Technology
Marc Dunoyer Chief Financial Officer & Executive Director
Sean Bohen Chief Medical Officer & Executive Vice President
More about the company
Sector and Competitors
1st jan.Capitalization (M$)
ASTRAZENECA PLC-2.68%67 430
JOHNSON & JOHNSON-0.92%310 549
ROCHE HOLDING LTD.0.39%200 499
PFIZER INC.-2.19%192 792
NOVARTIS AG-4.32%185 152
MERCK & CO., INC.6.22%172 404
More Results