Parallel Trade's Emerging Image Crisis - Pharmaceutical Technology

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Parallel Trade's Emerging Image Crisis
Parallel trade has frustrated pharmaceutical manufacturers for years and now evidence has linked such trade to drug shortages in Europe. Parallel trade representatives have yet to respond, but will need to react quickly to salvage their reputation.


Pharmaceutical Technology Europe


Summary

Parallel trade continues to irritate pharmaceutical companies in Europe, who view the trade as unfair competition and a danger to public health. To date, the EU legal position regarding the free movement of goods has enabled parallel trade to continue despite frequent court battles with pharmaceutical manufacturers. Naturally, parallel traders have cited such cases as highlighting their legitimacy and have rejected criticism of their business. However, emerging information is associating parallel trade with drug shortages in different EU countries. If patient safety is considered to be a risk, then the public will not accept the stated view of parallel traders that their business adds value to European healthcare by providing competitive prices. In fact, they could be seen as benefiting financially while patients struggle to access prescribed medicines. Parallel trade representatives have yet to issue a response regarding current EU drug shortages, but they will need to react quickly as pharmaceutical companies will cite such information as evidence of their previous warnings of the perils of parallel trade.

References

1. T. Staton, "Austria racks up millions from parallel trade in EU" (Fierce Pharma, 2012).www.fiercepharma.com, accessed 14 June, 2012.

2. J. Kilick, "Parallel trade in Europe - the tide is turning" (Brussels Legal, 2012). http://www.brusselslegal.com, accessed 14 June, 2012.

3. EFPIA, "Parallel trade" (EFPIA website, 2012). http://www.efpia.eu, accessed 14 June, 2012.

4. C. Heath, "Parallel imports and International trade" (World International Property Organisation, 1999). http://www.wipo.int, accessed 14 June, 2012.

5. European Association of Euro-Pharmaceutical Companies, "Cutting the costs of medicines in Europe" (European Association of Euro-Pharmaceutical Companies website, 2012). http://www.eaepc.org, accessed 14 June, 2012.

6. European Association of Euro-Pharmaceutical Companies, Anon (2012). "EAEPC-EFPIA-GIRP-PGEU working for better patient safety" (European Association of Euro-Pharmaceutical Companies website, 2012). http://www.eaepc.org, accessed 14 June, 2012.

7. European Association of Euro-Pharmaceutical Companies, "What challenges do parallel distributors face?" (European Association of Euro-Pharmaceutical Companies website, 2012). http://www.eaepc.org, accessed 14 June, 2012.

8. GaBI Journal, "Greece drug shortages" (GaBI website, 2012). http://gabi-journal.net, accessed 14 June, 2012.

9. Pharmaceutical-Technology, "Greece hit with essential medicine shortage caused by mounting drug debt" (Pharmaceutical-Technology website, 2012). http://www.pharmaceutical-technology.com, accessed 14 June, 2012.

10. APPG, "APPG Medicines Shortages Report" (APPG website, 2012). http://www.appg.org.uk, accessed 14 June, 2012.


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