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    AZN   GB0009895292

ASTRAZENECA (AZN)
Mes dernières consult.
Most popular
  Report  
SummaryQuotesChartsNewsAnalysisCalendarCompanyFinancialsConsensusRevisions 
News SummaryMost relevantAll newsofficial PublicationsSector 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 | 03:42pm CEST

-- 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 head of European drugs trade group in paragraph 12.)

 
    By Sten Stovall 
    Of  
 

The U.K. is being drained of crucial medicines by exporters who sell them elsewhere in Europe 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 EU, 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 in Europe 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.

"We have more shortages in countries where pharmacists, in addition to wholesalers, are also involved in exports," said Richard Bergstrom, director general of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations. "This report provides evidence to support policy changes in the U.K. to separate these practices."

The lawmakers' report criticized the U.K.'s Department of Health and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency for poorly monitoring 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; [email protected]

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ASTRAZENECA 0.02% 4992 Delayed Quote.-2.54%
ASTRAZENECA 0.90% 608.3 Delayed Quote.6.05%
GLAXOSMITHKLINE 2.64% 16.612 Delayed Quote.7.89%
GLAXOSMITHKLINE 1.74% 1436.8 Delayed Quote.6.78%
share with twitter share with LinkedIn share with facebook
share via e-mail
0
Latest news on ASTRAZENECA
04/26ASTRAZENECA : Researchers from AstraZeneca Report Details of New Studies and Fin..
AQ
04/26ASTRAZENECA : Studies from AstraZeneca Yield New Information about Nanoparticles..
AQ
04/26ASTRAZENECA : Findings from AstraZeneca Broaden Understanding of Molecular Model..
AQ
04/26ASTRAZENECA : Highmark Inc. Signs Outcomes-Based Agreement with AstraZeneca for ..
AQ
04/26ASTRAZENECA : Studies from Astrazeneca Provide New Data on Fluorine (Fluorine-Di..
AQ
04/26ASTRAZENECA : Circassia Pharmaceuticals upbeat as AstraZeneca increases stake
AQ
04/26ASTRAZENECA : With $60M and a new CEO, Corvidia Therapeutics is all systems go
AQ
04/26COTY : Appoints Erkal-Paler As Chief Global Corporate Affairs Officer, Executive..
AQ
04/25ASTRAZENECA : 0.4% Potential Decrease Indicated by Liberum Capital
AQ
04/25ASTRAZENECA : US FDA approves TAGRISSO as 1st-line treatment for EGFR-mutated no..
AQ
More news
News from SeekingAlpha
02:16aTracking Ken Fisher's Fisher Asset Management Portfolio - Q1 2018 Update 
04/26BIOTECH ANALYSIS CENTRAL PHARMA NEWS : AstraZeneca's Fumble, Acadia's Nuplazid R.. 
04/25Zai Lab in-licenses Entasis Therapeutics' broad-spectrum antibiotic in Asia-P.. 
04/25FDA accepts Sanofi Pasteur's marketing application for expanded use of flu va.. 
04/25ROUNDS REPORT : Eleven Biotherapeutics Traded Further North While The Higher FDA.. 
Financials ($)
Sales 2018 22 561 M
EBIT 2018 5 527 M
Net income 2018 1 885 M
Debt 2018 14 769 M
Yield 2018 4,02%
P/E ratio 2018 37,90
P/E ratio 2019 28,92
EV / Sales 2018 4,56x
EV / Sales 2019 4,31x
Capitalization 88 052 M
Chart ASTRAZENECA
Duration : Period :
AstraZeneca Technical Analysis Chart | AZN | GB0009895292 | 4-Traders
Technical analysis trends ASTRAZENECA
Short TermMid-TermLong Term
TrendsNeutralNeutralNeutral
Income Statement Evolution
Consensus
Sell
Buy
Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 30
Average target price 75,5 $
Spread / Average Target 8,7%
EPS 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
Sector and Competitors
1st jan.Capitalization (M$)
ASTRAZENECA-2.54%88 052
JOHNSON & JOHNSON-9.68%338 522
PFIZER2.32%220 455
NOVARTIS-8.69%202 567
ROCHE HOLDING LTD.-11.66%193 904
MERCK AND COMPANY5.97%161 967