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2020-04-28

Accord Healthcare ready to fill UK COVID drug shortages

  • Deal announced to secure new supply of UK manufactured hydroxychloroquine
  • Production scaled-up of other vital COVID medicines announced by the Government as being in critically short supply

Accord Healthcare, one of the largest suppliers of generic medicines to the National Health Service, announces a deal* that will ensure a secure long-term domestic supply of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), a medicine under investigation for the prevention and/or treatment of COVID-19. If the current clinical trials with HCQ show a protective effect, it could be highly significant to the Government’s ability to alleviate mandated lockdowns and restart the UK economy.

As a result of economic pressures over the last twenty years, legacy production of HCQ within the UK has gradually moved to Asia. Today, 100 per cent of the UK’s existing supply of the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) of HCQ comes from abroad; this new deal re-establishes a long-lost domestic supply chain that will secure a reliable UK supply of a potentially vital medicine in our battle against COVID-19. Once operational, Accord expects to be able to supply approximately 50 million tablets of HCQ per month from October 2020.

Whilst we await an effective vaccine, an urgent focus for the world’s healthcare industry is to rapidly develop treatments for COVID-19. Should the result of the trials with HCQ prove that there is potentially a population-wide benefit, there is likely to be a significant world-wide shortfall in the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API). Other governments are already working to actively secure stocks of HCQ and its chemical ingredients, so this new deal will create a UK-based manufacturing capability for this medicine well in advance of when it may be needed most,” says James Burt, Executive Vice President, Accord EMENA.

 

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