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Aspen shares drops after Europe hike

Picture: Chris Post/AP

Picture: Chris Post/AP

Published Apr 18, 2017

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Johannesburg - Shares in Aspen

Pharmacare fell 2.5 percent on Tuesday following a

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British newspaper report accusing the African company of

withholding drugs to try to drive up prices in European markets.

Citing leaked internal emails, The Times newspaper reported

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staff at Aspen discussed destroying supplies of life-saving

cancer medicines during a price dispute with the Spanish health

service in 2014.

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Aspen, Africa's largest generic drug-maker, declined to

comment on specific allegations because it could be in breach of

sub-judice laws that apply to matters that are the subject of

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legal processes.

"Aspen has clearly demonstrated its commitment to providing

quality medicines affordable over many years. The supply of the

oncology products in question is no exception," Aspen said in a

statement to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

"Aspen looks forward to the opportunity to demonstrate the

integrity and legality of its practices in the context of these

legal processes."

Shares in the company fell 2.5 percent to R273.17 by

0805 GMT, lagging behind a 0.7 percent decline in the

Johannesburg's Top-40 index. Tuesday was the first day

of trading after the long Easter weekend.

Read also:   Aspen targets further Chinese acquisitions

Aspen, based in the South African city of Durban, has

expanded overseas to benefit from the expiry of patents on

best-selling drugs. That has helped to fuel a more than

nine-fold increase in its share price since early 2008.

The company said the oncology drugs in question generated

sales in the European Union of 60 million euros ($64 million) in

the year to the end of June 2016, much of which was achieved on

an average price of approximately 2 euros per tablet.

REUTERS 

For more on this topic, pick up a copy of Business Report tomorrow. 

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