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.