LONDON, 20 July (APM) - AstraZeneca has said it is increasing the stockpiles of medicines it has available in both the European Union and the UK to protect against the possibility of a no-deal Brexit, The Daily Telegraph reported on Wednesday.
Speaking to the BBC's Newsnight on Tuesday evening, the vice president of AstraZeneca's global external manufacturing, Juliette White, said: "Ultimately - and as a safety net - we will increase the amount of finished medicines available to pharmacies and hospitals in those countries [on both sides of the Channel].
"We always have an additional amount of medicines available. We are increasing that by about 20%."
White said the UK pharma had been preparing for the possibility the UK would crash out the European Union without a deal since the Brexit vote in 2016. It is currently looking to duplicate labs in the UK and EU, and said it has more than 30 people working on preparations for Brexit.
Novartis joins Pfizer in shelving price rises
Novartis has joined Pfizer in shelving price increases for drugs in the U.S. after criticism from president Donald Trump, the FT reported on Wednesday.
"We have pulled back on any further price increases this year," Novartis' chief executive Vas Narasimhan told reporters on Wednesday after announcing second-quarter results.
Last week Pfizer delayed price increases on 100 products following discussions with Trump.
The Times covered the story on Thursday.
Merck became the latest pharma to say it would exercise restraint over its prices amid growing pressure from the Trump administration over the soaring cost of medicines, the FT reported on Thursday.
It said it would lower the U.S. price of Zepatier, a hepatitis C medicine, by 60%, and several other medicines by 10%, to reduce out-of-pocket costs for patients.
It also published a transparency report which showed that the net price of all its medicines — including discounts and rebates — declined by 1.9% last year.
Indivior's shares spring back after legal block on U.S. rival
Shares in addiction treatment specialist Indivior rocketed 27% at the start of the week, marking a spring back from last week's drubbing after the London-listed company announced a legal breakthrough in the U.S., the Financial Times reported on Monday.
The shares slumped by a third last week after India said it could no longer give any guidance on earnings for this year given an adverse shift in U.S. market conditions.
Among the problems is the launch of a U.S. generics rival by India's Dr Reddy's Laboratories, which it noted it was seeking to block through the counts.
A turnaround came on Monday when Indivior said it had been granted a preliminary injunction against DRL which gives a temporary ban on the Indian company selling or importing its generic buprenorphine/naloxone sublingual film product, the FT added.
Johnson & Johnson posted second quarter financial results that were ahead of analyst expectations, the FT said on Tuesday.
The healthcare giant posted adjusted earnings per share of $2.10 on revenues of $20.8 billion.
On Wednesday the FT said that Novartis saw sales and core profits grow faster than expected in the second quarter.
The Swiss firm has net sales of $13.2 billion for the period, up 5% year-on-year, while core net income was up 3% to $3 billion.