Ferring Pharmaceuticals has stirred up controversy as it strengthened return policies for retailers in Korea.
Ferring Pharmaceuticals Korea has sparked off protests from the Korean medicine distribution industry by including its right to reject items returned by retailers in a renewed contract terms, said sources in the distribution industry on Oct. 14.
A clause in the renewed contract stipulates that a distributor must fully inspect products before returning them, including verification of the returned products’ integrity and checks on their packaging, specific storage requirements and supply chain validity.
Unsatisfactory products which cannot be resold should be properly disposed of and the distributor has to make a record of such disposals, it also says. Unsatisfactory products indicate drugs with problems in properties, quality, durability, reliability, safety, efficacy and performance.
What the distribution industry points out is that Ferring Pharmaceuticals intends to pass all responsibility regarding the disposal of defective drugs that are not reliable in terms of safety and effectiveness onto distributors. Such defective drugs involve the Ranitidine case which recently took place.
“This clause in Ferring Pharmaceuticals’ renewed contract is an abuse of power by a multinational pharmaceutical company,” said an official of the Korean drug distribution industry. “The company is shifting the responsibility for collection of returned drugs to drug distributors.”
Ferring Pharmaceuticals said its contract terms are not so special or exceptional when compared with those of other pharmaceutical companies, and they do not mean that the company will refuse to accept return drugs. "The clause is about drugs whose defects were caused by distributors’ neglect and is not unusual compared to those of other multinational pharmaceutical companies," it said.