Novartis dispute with German wholesellers widens

FRANKFURT Thu Nov 24, 2011 3:04pm EST

FRANKFURT Nov 24 (Reuters) - The conflict between Novartis and German wholesale drug sellers about delivery conditions is widening, with two more wholesalers saying on Thursday the Swiss company has stopped supplying them with pharmaceuticals products.

Phoenix , the market leader in pharmaceutical wholesale in Germany, and rival Sanacorp said they have stopped receiving deliveries in Germany from Novartis this month.

Gehe Pharma Handel, a unit of Celesio AG , said on Nov. 9 the two companies have been negotiating about delivery conditions for some time and that Novartis wanted to change the conditions unilaterally.

Phoenix, a supplier to 10,000 pharmacies, said on Thursday it has stopped receiving deliveries in Germany from Novartis since mid-November.

"Delivery was suspended due to disagreements regarding the delivery conditions. Phoenix views the new price conditions set by Novartis as inappropriate and thus unacceptable," Phoenix said in a statement.

"No agreement has been able to be made as yet. Phoenix reserves the right to take legal action," it added.

Sanacorp said Novartis has stopped deliveries to its company since Nov. 7.

Gehe said Novartis has stopped supplying the former with pharmaceutical products since Oct. 15

A spokesman for Novartis said various companies were already placing their orders based on new supply and payments conditions and have received the products accordingly.

The spokesman said the conditions on deliveries were changed because they no longer matched market situation.

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