Wednesday 22 March 2023

Generic drug maker goes bust, could lead to shortages


The bankruptcy of the biggest Dutch generic medicine maker InnoGenerics may have an impact on the supply of some types of drugs in several months time, health minister Ernst Kuipers has told MPs in a briefing.

Leiden-based InnoGenerics produced medicines which are out of patent for a wide range of ailments, including heart problems, diabetes, depression and epilepsy. In total, the company manufactured some three billion pills a year.

While there are sufficient supplies available for most drugs, Kuipers said he could not rule out shortages developing in some. Should that happen, health ministry inspectors will give the green light to imports from abroad while the companies for which InnoGenerics manufactured medicines look for new suppliers, he said.

The company’s Indian owners wanted to close it down in 2019 because it was not profitable, but the Dutch government intervened, saying it is important that the Netherlands has its own production capacity.

The company was then taken over by two Dutch entrepreneurs with government help – a loan of €6.7 million according to the Financieele Dagblad.

The factory has been supported by the government since then but in October, the cabinet and outside investors said they would not give the company a new financial injection.

‘No-one involved was prepared to invest any more in InnoGenerics, either individually or as a group,’ Kuipers said in his briefing.

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