Sunday 19 November 2017

Bacteria scare won't derail Fannin unit sale to Baxter - DCC

DCC chief executive Tommy Breen
DCC chief executive Tommy Breen
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

One of Ireland's biggest companies - DCC - has insisted that contamination problems detected at its Fannin Compounding unit in Dublin won't derail the planned sale of the division to US pharmaceutical giant Baxter.

Fannin is a part of DCC Vital, which is the group's healthcare division, supplying medical devices, pharmaceuticals and logistics to the sector.

Fannin's compounding business unit manufactures and supplies aseptically prepared compounded medicines to hospitals in Ireland.

It is involved in the aseptic filling of oncology, pain management, antibiotic and paediatric nutrition products into ready-to-use devices such as syringes and IV bags for patients.

Yesterday it emerged that some treatments made by Fannin Compounding have been recalled after it was discovered that one of its manufacturing machines was contaminated with bacteria that could cause serious and potentially fatal non-gastrointestinal tract infections.

About 200 patients have been contacted in relation to the issue.

In June this year, the Irish Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) was notified that the UK arm of global American healthcare giant Baxter intended to buy Fannin Compounding, including its manufacturing site in Dublin. No purchase price was disclosed.

Baxter already manufactures compounded medicines in its manufacturing facility in Deansgrange in south county Dublin. It also manufactures compounded medicines in a facility in the United Kingdom.

"As part of the proposed transaction, Baxter also plans to acquire Fannin Compounding's customer list, product price list, product specifications and details of its supplier arrangements," noted the CCPC.

In July, the CCPC told both Baxter and Fannin that it required further information about the proposed sale.

However, last month the CCPC said it would launch a full probe into the planned purchase by Baxter.

The CCPC said: "The Commission is unable, at this stage, to reach a determination that the proposed acquisition will not lead to a substantial lessening of competition in any market for goods or services in the State.

"Accordingly, it intends to carry out a full investigation."

A spokeswoman for DCC, whose chief executive is Tommy Breen, said the issue at the Fannin Compounding site would not impact the sale.

"The precautionary recall will have no effect on the sale process which is still pending approval from the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission," she said.

In its last financial year, DCC's healthcare division - which includes Fannin and other operations - generated turnover of £488m (€664m) and an operating profit of £39.7m (€54m).

DCC, whose interests range from healthcare, fuel and technology distribution, to waste management and petrol stations in Sweden and France, generated group revenues of £10.6bn (€14.4bn) and an operating profit of £221.7m (€301.6m) in the 12 months that ended in March.

Irish Independent

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