Ebesque XL (modified-release quetiapine) has been discontinued in the UK... How can CCG's confid

Ebesque XL (modified-release quetiapine) has been discontinued in the UK... How can CCG's confidently switch NOW and save more money?

At the end of January 2017, Ethypharm announced that Ebesque XL, their market leading brand of modified release quetiapine, is to be withdrawn from the UK market. Supply issues with Ebesque XL are not new, so as stocks in the supply chain dwindle, what steps can CCGs take to avoid problems with continuity of supply in the future and make sure their next move is the right one?

There are now several suppliers in the branded quetiapine market, however all things are not equal and a few simple parameters need to be considered when looking at who might provide the best overall package:

Continuity of supply:

Even if a company holds the marketing authorisation in Europe, it does not necessarily hold that the product is manufactured here. Many category C generics are manufactured in the Asian sub-continent and shipped into Europe. The eventual withdrawal of Ebesque is yet another example of supply problems from Asia. It may be prudent therefore to check that the next brand you choose comes from a company with a manufacturing base in Europe.

Confidence of supply and organisation stability:

Will the manufacturer still be in business in the years to come. Choose an organisation that has a heritage and quality in production of prescription medicines across Europe.

Range of supply

As surprising as this is, manufacturers of branded generics do not always bring out a range to match the originator brand leading to issues for patients changing doses and pharmacists having to stock numerous brands. Thankfully some manufacturers understand the problems this may cause and supply the complete range of strengths needed.


Research that we have conducted clearly shows that whilst a rebate can be attractive to CCGs, what people really want is a low NHS list price. One relatively recent market entrant understands this and is turning heads with a very aggressive pricing strategy to attract business from CCGs.

Lancaster Hammond Limited has set up a new service Medicines Switch & Save works with their industry and NHS partners to seek out and deliver real opportunities for CCG's to save money and improve care delivery in the short and long term.

In two recent examples, we demonstrated savings for one CCG of over £100K on their emollient budget, whilst our quetiapine partner is currently 25% less expensive than the next cheapest product on the market.

To find out how your CCG can benefit, please contact Debbie or Julian on:

info@medswitch.co.uk or call 01223 903320

Visit www.medswitch.co.uk for more information on all of our current deals and to sign up to the newsletter

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