Novartis stops deliveries in German wholesaling dispute

Swiss drugmaker Novartis ($NVS) has stopped shipping drugs to two more German wholesalers in an ongoing dispute over prices. As Reuters reports, Germany's top wholesaler, Phoenix, and its smaller rival, Sanacorp, stopped receiving shipments from Novartis this month. Meanwhile, a unit of Celesio said it is locked in negotiations with the company, and Novartis hasn't shipped product since Oct. 15.

Phoenix said deliveries stopped in mid-November, while Sanacorp's stopped Nov. 7. "Delivery was suspended due to disagreements regarding the delivery conditions," Phoenix said in a statement (as quoted by Reuters). "Phoenix views the new price conditions set by Novartis as inappropriate and thus unacceptable."

Phoenix and Celesio said they have asked Novartis to begin shipping again. For its part, Novartis says it has been "optimizing" contracts with wholesalers, Bloomberg reports. The company's new contracts jettison "many-years-old discount rules" that no longer reflect market conditions, a company spokesman told the news service. Novartis is in ongoing negotiations with some wholesalers--which the company declined to name--to come up with "acceptable" agreements.

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ALSO: Novartis won European approval for a new three-way combination blood pressure pill, which comprises its drug Rasilez and two other treatments. Report