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AAH: Pregabalin supply 'not caught up' with market expansion

Pregabalin entered category M in August
Pregabalin entered category M in August

The supply of pregabalin "has not caught up" with the expansion of the generics market, wholesaler AAH has told C+D.

Gary Richards, head of generics at Celesio UK – wholesaler AAH's parent company – said the market expanded “considerably” due to the expiration of the Pfizer’s patent for neuropathic pain.

Pregabalin prices in the drug tariff currently range from £1.87 for a pack of 56 25mg capsules to £4.17 for a pack of 56 300mg capsules. But contractors told C+D last week they are being forced to pay almost £20 per pack by wholesalers.

Mr Richards did not confirm how much AAH charges for pregabalin. However he told C+D this week (August 7): “Our pricing is reflective of market forces today, the drug tariff is reflective of the price several months ago."

Pregabalin entered category M in August, two months after NHS England announced the drug should be prescribed “in accordance with normal practice”.

“As with all our pricing, our aim is to be competitive and therefore we monitor and respond to market conditions,” Mr Richards added.

Last week, chief executive of the Healthcare Distribution Association (HDA) Martin Sawer, told C+D that wholesalers were also “losing out” as the market adjusts to pregabalin moving to category M.

“Not only will pharmacists be losing out in the short term, but so will wholesalers, as the market adjusts,” Mr Sawer said.

“All players in the supply chain have a duty to avoid supply shortages,” he added.

Have you noticed an increase in pregabalin prices?

Andrew Martin, Primary care pharmacist

Absolute rubbish. The expansion of the generic market post 15th July 2017 was _entirely_ predictable.

Caring Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

What about the rest of the generic prices on your ordering website Gary?They are a rip off and are in excess of DT prices.Can you care to explain why???Are these prices charged because Celesio and Alliance are the only mainline wholesalers in pharmacy chain.Are they designed to kill off small pharmacies.

Same drugs can be obtained from other suppliers at a reasonable discount even from trident (part of celesio)

Time for for govenment to intervene and break up this duopoly.

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