In a world where the demand for drugs has exploded in recent years, we’ve seen the rise of an entire cottage industry of online pharmacies and drug stores.
But, in many cases, these services are being undercut by cheaper generic alternatives.
Biohaven Pharmaceuticals, for example, has been able to grow its business by offering its own, branded drugs.
But this hasn’t stopped the likes of Avon and Avon-Hertogenbosch, who are now facing similar issues, with the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) demanding to know why their own branded drugs are being banned.
In a letter to Biohaven CEO and CEO Dr. John Jansen, the MHRA has asked why the company is selling generic versions of its drugs, and specifically why the drugs are not being manufactured in the United Kingdom, as is required.
“It appears to us that this is a very significant problem for the UK and the health of the patients who rely on our medicines,” the MHARA said in its letter.
“Your company is responsible for this problem.”
Avon &Herts, the UK-based company that manufactures the Avon Biodigest and the Hertogenbereich drug, are among those seeking to have the MHRC order the company to cease selling its drugs.
The MHRA’s letter to Avon’s chief executive Dr. Stephen Kavanagh has been made public as part of a growing number of court cases.
“There is no justification for denying the importation of drugs into the United States as it is the sole market for the products,” the letter stated.
“The company is working closely with our US legal advisors to develop a solution which ensures the safety of our products, the protection of our intellectual property, and the protection and quality of our customers’ medicines.”
The MHRC’s letter also noted that Avon is the only UK company in the market that sells its own branded drug, and that it was the only company to be granted permission to import generic versions.
The company was forced to pull its brand-name versions of the products from the shelves of its stores in the US due to the MHRSA.
“We understand that the MHMRA is aware of this situation and the issue has been raised in a number of courts,” the company said in a statement to Engadgets.
“At this stage we have not received a reply from the MHMA, nor have we received any further comment from them.”
It’s not the first time Avon has had to go through court battles with the MHRT, with its generic version of the Avondale antibiotic Avondix and the generic version for the Humira drug Humira being thrown out of court in 2013.
In 2014, Avon was also forced to close down in the Netherlands due to MHRT concerns about the safety and quality issues of the generic versions being sold.
Avon had argued that its generics were safer, and were manufactured in a facility that produced them.
But the MH RT refused to give the company a licence to manufacture its generic versions, citing concerns about safety.