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Wholesalers also affected by pregabalin ‘market shock’

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Martin Sawer: All players in supply chain have a duty to avoid shortages
Martin Sawer: All players in supply chain have a duty to avoid supply shortages

Wholesalers as well as pharmacists are “losing out” as the market adjusts to pregabalin moving to category M, the Healthcare Distribution Association (HDA) has told C+D.

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

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.

Responding to C+D’s coverage, HDA executive director Martin Sawer said: “It seems that the market shocks flowing from such a large price drop for such a big volume product have been playing out.”

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

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

Mr Sawer was commenting in response to the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee’s call for contractors to exert “maximum pressure” on wholesalers to match the reduction in pregabalin’s reimbursement price.

Numark also told C+D last week that price hikes are "are not unusual with molecules where there is sometimes a shortage in the market – wholesalers have to pay more for a limited amount of stock”.

3 Comments
Question: 
Have you noticed an increase in pregabalin prices?

Amal England, Public Relations

There is a far greater problem here and that is pharmacists don't have control, in real terms pharmacists have control and authority over.... Whether to sell sinutab or sudafed and that is it. As a minimum Pharmacists should have authority to supply drug x, which costed y, at a price of y + profit. It should be the pharmacists decision to decide the profit. A man owns a shop, some organisation walks in and says all these products you must supply at a loss or else. I think this would be defined as blackmail and if that shop owner was Michael Corleone, what would he do.....?

Simon MEDLEY, Community pharmacist

if the drug tariff was more realistic maybe we'd be able to judge our cash flows better too, ratger than being lulled into a false sense of profitabilty only to have it clawed back the next year, after we've aleady been taxed on it

Farhat Ahmed, Locum pharmacist

 

“Not only will pharmacists be losing out in the short term, but so will wholesalers, as the market adjusts.” What does this statement mean, is it saying that we are ordering the pregabalin at the higher prices but there is no way that we are being paid anything above the tariff price? Is there anybody in authority out there that can actually provide a straight forward answer? I need to know what category M has got to do with the fact that the drug tariff price is just not realistic in the real world. Is this the backdoor to close a few more pharmacies by sendint them into bankruptcy?

 

 

 

 

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