January 22, 2020 / 1:17 PM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Finland's Oriola says failed IT change caused 2017 distribution problems

(Adds Oriola comments, background)

Jan 22 (Reuters) - Finnish drug wholesaler Oriola said on Wednesday that its distribution problems in September 2017, which were a subject of inspection by drug safety agency Fimea, were related to difficulties in its IT systems, the STT news agency reported on Wednesday.

“We worked closely with Fimea during autumn 2017 and ensured all medical deliveries with them”, Oriola told Reuters in an emailed statement. “We fixed all the issues during that time and today we have an efficient and Fimea-approved way of working”, it said.

In the report obtained by STT, Fimea wrote that the company was found to have had shortcomings in the autumn of 2017 which threatened the distribution of pharmaceuticals in Finland.

Oriola, which sells pharmaceuticals to pharmacy stores and hospitals in Finland, did not fulfill the legal requirements required for a drug wholesaler, Fimea said in its inspection report, according to STT.

The company said in October 2017 that its results for the third quarter of the year were hampered by “unexpected difficulties” in its new warehouse management system. In September, only 72% of medicines were delivered to pharmacies and hospitals, raising concerns that delivery issues could threaten patient safety. Service levels “returned to normal” in October, it said in its third-quarter 2017 results.

Fimea was not immediately available for comment. (Reporting by Boleslaw Lasocki in Gdansk, additonal reporting by Milla Nissi, Anne Kauranen and Tommy Lund, editing by Louise Heavens)

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