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Manufacturers body: The FMD will cause generics prices to rise

The cost of implementing the EU’s medicines scanning law across the supply chain will cause medicines prices to increase, the BGMA has said.

The EU’s anti-counterfeit legislation, the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD) – which requires all pharmacies to be able to scan barcodes on medicines packaging at the point of dispensing – came into force last month.

BGMA director Warwick Smith warned that financial pressures of the FMD are being felt across the supply chain, and this will be reflected in the price of medicines.

“The cost is already in the market, even if the packs are not,” he told C+D at the Sigma conference in Muscat, Oman, last month.

The FMD has already cost the pharmaceutical industry “hundreds of billions of pounds” in production costs of adding 2D barcodes, Mr Smith claimed.

On top of this cost, manufacturers paid £9 million to register with SecureMed – the UK group tasked with implementing the FMD, he claimed.

“I suspect [the FMD] is having an impact already, but it will be quite gradual and quite small,” Mr Smith added.

Brexit having “minor” effect on prices

Mr Smith acknowledged that Brexit is having a “small” effect on medicines prices, but “it will get bigger”.

Of the factors affecting generics prices, Brexit is “probably the least impactful”, he said. 

Read Warwick Smith’s blog on what other factors pose a threat to generics prices.

Have you received many medicines with 2D barcodes?

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