Stada’s Serb Unit to Avoid Wholesalers After Unpaid Bills

Hemofarm AD, a Serbian drug maker whose unpaid bills led to a writedown at owner, German Stada Arzneimittel AG (SAZ), said it started direct sales to state-run pharmacies, circumventing some wholesalers.

The new policy will “reduce complexity of the supply chain” the company said in an e-mailed statement. Hemofarm previously incurred losses after some Serbian pharmaceutical wholesalers failed to pay for the drugs produced by the Vrsac, Serbia-based company.

Stada had a 96.9 million-euro ($123 million) writedown in November before taxes because of its Serbian business. About a half of the writedown was related to deliveries to Serbia’s dominant state-run health care system. Its 2011 profit slipped 68 percent because of the one-time charges.

A Serbian unit of Mannheim-based Phoenix Pharmahandel GmbH will provide logistic support in distributing Hemofarm products, Hemofarm said, adding that it may continue to cooperate with some wholesalers in the region.

Stada bought Hemofarm in 2006 for 480 million euros.

To contact the reporter on this story: Misha Savic in Belgrade at msavic2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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