Accord Healthcare Ready to Fill UK COVID Drug Shortages

Accord Healthcare Ready to Fill UK COVID Drug Shortages

PR Newswire

LONDON, April 27, 2020

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

LONDON, April 27, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- 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.

Production scaled-up of other vital COVID medicines in critically short supply

The Government is rushing to shore up supplies of other vital medicines that are currently in short supply and on 23rd April, an extended list of medicines that cannot be parallel exported from the UK was announced.1 This surge in demand was anticipated by Accord when the COVID-19 pandemic first emerged; Accord has increased its production by 100m extra doses of COVID-19-essential medicines in a month employing over 100 extra staff to help achieve this. Supplies of the wide range of critical medicines in short supply should be arriving imminently into UK hospitals to help meet this urgent need.

"Accord is working around the clock to help ensure the UK has access to secure domestic supplies of critical care and other vital medicines that are running low in this COVID-19 pandemic. We have already switched 70% of our production to COVID-19-related medicines and, from next month, we will increase this even further as we start producing the larger volume batch sizes that are needed at the moment," says Tony Cordrey, VP Operations, Accord Healthcare EMENA.


  1. DHSC Guidance.  Medicines that cannot be parallel exported from the UK. Sets out medicines that cannot be parallel exported from the UK because they are needed for UK patients.

Notes to Editor:

  1. * With the assistance of Sterling Pharma Services, Accord has already purchased, at risk, over 50 tonnes of raw chemical materials that are being flown into the UK. The purchased chemicals equate to around 60,000,000 finished tablets of HCQ, which under current protocols could equate to either 2,000,000 treatments or in prophylaxis between approximately 2,000,000 and up to 8,000,000 patient months of supply, based on the various dosing schedules being trialled. Provided Accord can secure enough raw material on an ongoing basis, we estimate that between Accord and Sterling, approximately 50,000,000 finished tablets of HCQ could be manufactured and delivered per month from October 2020 onwards
  2. Accord Healthcare Ltd, the principal European subsidiary of Intas Pharmaceuticals, is the largest supplier by volume of generic medicines to the NHS, providing approximately 1 in 5 of all generic medicines to the NHS
  3. Accord has recently started production of finished HCQ tablets in its Barnstaple site in the UK, and is donating up to 2 million doses to the largest global interventional study, COPCOV
  4. Sterling Pharma Services Ltd is the UK's largest provider of active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) development and manufacturing services to the pharmaceutical industry and specialises in handling challenging chemistries

About Accord Healthcare

Accord is one of the fastest growing generic pharmaceutical companies in Europe. We have one of the largest market footprints of any European generic company selling generic medicines in over 80 countries around the world.

This global footprint enables us to deliver vital, affordable medicines worldwide, to the national health systems and patients who need them most. From our manufacturing operations in Harrow, Fawdon and Barnstaple and our distribution centre in Didcot, we supply approximately one in five of the UK's generic medicines. 

Our approach is agile and inventive, always seeking to improve our products and patients' access to them. We are driven to think differently and deliver more for the benefit of patients worldwide.

Accord, we make it better



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