Hospira Statement Regarding Paclitaxel Supply and Pricing

MONTREAL, June 6, 2014 /CNW/ - Given recent misinformation, we at Hospira Canada feel it is very important to clarify and provide further context regarding the Canadian supply and pricing of paclitaxel – a life-saving cancer medication.

Most importantly, through Hospira's efforts, and working closely with Health Canada, a severe oncology treatment crisis was avoided, resulting in no patient disruption of a key oncolytic therapy.

Contrary to media reports, Hospira did not increase our price for paclitaxel. In fact, Hospira offered a 75 percent discount off our list price of paclitaxel to Canadian purchasing groups that previously purchased the drug from another supplier that is not currently able to supply the market. The price referenced in media coverage is the list price for paclitaxel.

Because we recognize the importance of paclitaxel, we offered this deep discount well before the issue became public by directly engaging each affected purchasing group in May, along with a firm commitment to apply the discount retroactively. We're hoping to quickly finalize agreements with the key purchasing groups that supply Canadian hospitals so they can obtain the discounted price and not pay the list price.

It is expensive and complicated to meet this large, unexpected and sudden increase in demand. As well as offering the 75 percent discount, we have taken the following actions to ensure a smooth supply:

  • We have increased local inventory levels across our portfolio to meet spikes in demand when shortages arise;
  • We have expedited delivery to Canada ahead of other markets, while balancing the needs of our global patient base;
  • We have worked with customers across the country to allocate inventories from institutions that had higher levels of inventory to where needs were critically necessary;
  • We have made corporate investments exceeding $1 billion in recent years to expand production to provide a reliable supply of medically necessary products and prevent drug shortages, as we have been able to do with paclitaxel in Canada.

Hospira has built a strong record in Canada, specifically in Montreal, with roots that date back to 1927, employing nearly 200 skilled and highly-trained individuals. We are proud to build on this heritage by quickly mobilizing our operations to provide life-saving cancer treatments to all Canadian patients who require them.

About Hospira Healthcare Corporation
Located in Montreal, Hospira Healthcare Corporation is the Canadian headquarters of Hospira and represents the company's second largest commercial presence. Hospira Healthcare Corporation markets products integral to increasing safety and reducing healthcare costs, including generic injectable drugs, infusion technologies and subsequent entry biologics (SEBs) or biosimilars -- which are biologic medicines that offer costs savings. Learn more at www.hospira.ca.

SOURCE: Hospira, Inc.

For further information: For media inquiries, please contact: Dan Rosenberg, Hospira Public Affairs, 224-212-3366

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Hospira, Inc.

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