Manufactured in Agen, Efferalgan and Dafalgan products are not out of stock in pharmacies, unlike Doliprane. The localization of production but also the absence of dependence on China for active ingredients explain this favorable situation.
Doliprane (the best-selling paracetamol-based drug on the French market) is out of stock with pharmacists. This shortage is recognized by the manufacturer Sanofi, which highlights “an unprecedented increase in demand”. In question: seasonal flu, the traditional cold snaps of spring, but also Covid-19 (whose symptoms are treated with paracetamol).
In the absence of Doliprane, consumers and patients of doctors can however refer to Dafalgan and Efferalgan, two other forms of paracetamol from the Upsa brand. These products, manufactured in Agen, will obviously take advantage of the windfall to nibble away on market share.
“Not only Doliprane in life”
“Apart from a few references which are subject to quotas, for example Dafalgan 1gr capsule and Efferalgan Odis 500mg, we are not aware of any stock shortages, explains Upsa management. We are monitoring the situation very closely in pharmacies, because the shortage at our competitor will have a mechanical effect on our sales.Paracetamol is an essential molecule, but there is not only Doliprane in life: there is also and above all Efferalgan and Dafalgran, which are French products. “
This “made in France” is an advantage according to Upsa, which does not fail to underline “the relevance of our strategy centered on strong industrial capacities in Agen and guaranteeing agility to ensure patients and healthcare professionals continuity of access to our paracetamol-based medicines”. stock at Upsa is also and above all linked to the supply strategy. Sanofi is in fact dependent on China to supply its active ingredients, whereas Upsa obtains its supplies mainly from the United States (85%, against 15% in China). A winning strategy, initiated five years ago, and aimed precisely “to limit the risks of stock-outs and shortages and to secure access to medicines to meet the needs of all patients”.
Strong tensions on aluminum
“Making in France is in our DNA, adds Upsa management. We have diversified our sourcing to avoid dependency, but also for cost issues, such as Social Responsibility and the Environment (CSR). And we want go even further, and achieve 100% French supply, hence our partnership with Seqens, which will supply us with paracetamol from its Rhône-Alpes site by 2024.”
Upsa therefore sees its strategic choices confirmed. However, vigilance is required because other tensions exist, particularly on packaging materials: their costs are increasing, and therefore the production costs of drug boxes. The increase in “raw materials” was felt in the second half of 2021, during the global recovery, but the Ukrainian crisis is aggravating the situation. Russia produces 80% of the alumina needed for aluminum production, an industrial sector also under pressure due to the price of gas. An essential aluminum for the manufacture of tablet tablets. “This forces us to be agile, underline the managers of Upsa. We are working with Bercy to find solutions. But our costs are soaring, while we cannot pass on this increase to our products, the prices of which are blocked.”
Vigilance and agility in purchasing are therefore essential, but despite these tensions, deliveries continue normally to pharmacists, wholesalers and hospitals. The factories of Agen and Passage-d’Agen are there: each year they produce some 300 million boxes, including 270 million stamped Dafalgan or Efferalgan. What to be largely safe from migraines.