No price increase for Novartis

In light of a December Novartis facility shutdown that affected key products such as heartworm medications Interceptor and Sentinel, Novartis is announcing it will not increase prices for the products impacted by the closure.

In a letter dated Jan. 11, 2012, Novartis informed customers that it would not raise prices for Clomicalm, Deramaxx, Interceptor, Sentinel, Program and Milbemite as it had previously announced.

Novartis released updated price sheets effective Feb. 1, 2012, pledging to alert customers of pricing changes that may be made in the future.

The drug maker also announced it would temporarily waive shipping fees that typically apply to orders under $200.

"Recognizing that our current inventory challenges have implications on your orders, we are temporarily waiving shipping fees that normally apply to orders under $200," Novartis wrote to doctors.

Novartis said the relief on shipping fees would continue until further notice.

Novartis sent a letter dated Jan. 5, 2012 informing customers about a facility shutdown in Lincoln, Neb., that affected production of both over-the-counter human medications as well as Animal Health products. Animal Health brands that were affected included Interceptor Flavor Tabs, Sentinel Flavor Tabs, Clomicalm, Program Tablets and Suspension and Milbemite. Deramaxx, which was recently moved to the site, was also affected, though Novartis said supplies on hand continued to be shipped.

"The voluntary decision to temporarily suspend production was driven by the company’s ongoing commitment to the highest quality standards and is being coordinated with the involvement of health authorities," Novartis wrote to its customers. "We truly regret the implications that any temporary supply disruptions will cause for you and your customers."

Novartis said the suspension of production at its plant would allow it to make improvements and strengthen its facility.

Though Novartis said it wasn’t able to provide an update on when product shipments of key brands might resume, the manufacturer said it was continuing to work to address the issue of the drug shortage while keeping its customers apprised of the situation.