Letters Making medicines evergreen

Flynn Pharma’s reply to Brunet

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f358 (Published 22 January 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f358
  1. David Walters, director1
  1. 1Flynn Pharma, Stevenage SG1 3EE, UK
  1. david.walters{at}flynnpharma.com

In response to Brunet,1 2 it is complex and expensive to manage the end of the life cycle of a declining product that is essential for patients. The most important consideration for patients was that the capsules were retained on the market, which would not have been possible at the old price. Had the product been discontinued, patients would have had to switch to more expensive formulations, with the risks associated with a change of formulation of a drug with a narrow therapeutic index. These problems were discussed with the Department of Health before the price increase was implemented.

At the current price of 80p (€0.96; $1.3) a 100 mg capsule, Phenytoin Sodium Flynn capsules are considerably less expensive than the generic tablets currently available. The drug tariff for generic phenytoin tablets 100 mg (for which there are several marketing authorisation holders) is 33% higher than our current price and has been at this level for many years.

Maintaining the same formulations and the identicodes on the capsules was considered important for reassuring patients that the change in ownership of the product posed no risk. There have been some supply problems over the years, a situation that often worsens for old products as volumes decline. We are introducing measures to increase the resilience of the supply chain, with the intention of fully satisfying future demand.


Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f358


  • Competing interests: DW is director of Flynn Pharma.