Apotex has announced that it will be ceasing supply of two PBS listed prescription products from its portfolio.
The PBS delisting date is yet to be confirmed, and stock will remain available at wholesalers until exhausted, it says.
The move follows months of ongoing, significant and widespread price reductions and PBS changes imposed by the Government across the broader pharmaceutical industry.
Apotex products to be removed are (including anticipated exhaustion at wholesaler level):
- Paracetamol/Codeine Tablets 500mg/30mg Blister Pack 20 (early Q4 2016);
- Cephalexin Suspension 125mg/5ml Bottle 100ml (mid-late Q4 2016); and
- Cephalexin Suspension 250mg/5ml Bottle 100ml (mid-late Q4 2016).
Apotex managing director, Roger Millichamp says Apotex has been incurring sustained losses by supplying these particular products under current legislated PBS pricing regimes.
“Apotex has a long history of litigation and bringing generic medicines to market , which has delivered considerable savings to the PBS,” he says.
“However, ongoing price reform pressures have placed these particular products’ pricing to customers at less than the cost of product manufacture,” says Millichamp.
“While Apotex is committed to and supports ongoing reliable access to affordable generic medicines, a strong PBS, and a sustainable generic medicines sector for patients, continuing price reductions could compromise the industry’s ability to ensure patients continue to have access to essential medicines in the future.”
At the recent APP conference, the Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association highlighted that the PBS currently has 68 medicines listed at, or below, ex-manufacturer price of $2, and a further 149 medicines priced between $2 and $5.
Millichamp says although it was a tough decision to make, the impact of legislated pricing reform has resulted in significant losses for some Apotex-supplied products which cannot be sustained.
Apotex continues to be an active contributor to the Generic Medicines Working Group and its discussions with Government, and is working with its customers to allow them to make alternative supply arrangements.
Apotex will work within the TGA’s framework for Medicine Shortages Information to inform the market of timelines for impending cessation of product supply.
Apotex’ over the counter paracetamol and codeine products will not be affected by the deletions, and will remain available in the market.