Threat to Hospitals and Patients from Restricted Drug Supplies Sept02
Conservative MEP for the East of England, has condemned pharmaceutical
manufacturers for imposing prescription medicines quotas throughout the
European Union. "There seems to be a total disregard by the
manufacturer for the welfare of the patient at the end of the supply
chain, which is causing both doctors and patients a great deal of
anxiety," said Mr Khanbhai.
As the European Parliament
today discusses the review of EU pharmaceutical legislation, there is
clear new evidence to suggest that drugs manufacturers are continuing to
restrict access to essential prescription medicines and preventing
wholesalers from supplying local hospitals and doctors with sufficient
Pharmaceuticals Ltd, a wholesaler based in Norwich, has provided startling
proof that their American suppliers are blocking access to essential drugs
such as Zyprexa, a product used in the treatment of schizophrenia, for
which there is currently no alternative. The Managing Director of East
Anglian Pharmaceuticals has confirmed that hospitals, doctors and
pharmacies have complained about their inability to guarantee supplies.
Although the manufacturers claim that the drugs are available from other
UK wholesalers, doctors are protesting that they have insufficient time
and resources to waste searching for alternative wholesalers.
Mr Khanbhai said: "I
am totally against the quotas for prescription medicines imposed by
manufacturers on wholesalers in EU member states. While they claim this is
an attempt to curtail parallel imports and that it does not disrupt the
supply to wholesalers to meet genuine commitments to pharmacies and
hospitals, this is clearly not the case."
Speaking after the
Environment Committee meeting Mr Khanbhai added: "If the EU is a free
open single market for goods, then the pharmaceutical manufacturers should
ensure that they offer uninterrupted supply of essential prescription
medicines to authorised registered wholesalers in all member states. I am
hoping that my amendment to the EU Pharmaceuticals Review will resolve
this problem. We must formulate appropriate legislation that will offer
quality, safety and flexibility for health care delivery systems in
different Member States. I want to achieve the best for patients, the
healthcare industry and taxpayers in the UK."