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Distributor cautions against ‘overly broad’ reaction

30 July 2013

Medical supplies distributor Henry Schein has warned that an overly broad response to the breast implants scandal could cause unnecessary cost to the supply chain.

Simon Gambold, managing director of Dental in the UK represents the UK on the European Industry Board.

"Negotiations on revisions to the Medical Devices Directive are being discussed in Europe in the wake of the implants scandal. One impact of this could be tightened regulation that will see all medical goods treated like pharmaceuticals,” he explains.

"We believe that this is not appropriate. All medical products need to be handled properly, and we have always been scrupulous in doing so, but not all medical devices require the same restrictive oversight as pharmaceuticals.”

Such a move would increase costs both for supply chain providers and their customers.

Simon continues: "We are all for the appropriate control of products but it must be proportionate. For example, we worked with the trade associations in the UK to implement strict controls on membership and provide support for small members to ensure everyone meets the standards.

"There was an issue with counterfeit products in the market. We didn’t have any but it was a concern that was raised by customers. It is a serious issue but the positive aspect is that it gives us an opportunity to emphasise to the customer how important it is that a supply chain is audited and controlled.”