Roche distribution center issue in England causes delay in products

A photo showing the logo of Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche in Basel.


Roche alerted hospitals to an issue with the supply chain at its distribution center in southern England, causing a delay in dispatch of some products including tests for the novel coronavirus, the National Health Service (NHS) said on Tuesday.

“We are prioritising the dispatch of COVID-19 PCR and antibody tests and doing everything we can to ensure there is no impact on the supply of these to the NHS,” Roche said in a statement.

“Roche has alerted hospitals to an issue with their supply chain, and they will be working urgently to resolve this issue,” NHS said.

In September, the company moved to a new facility, National Distribution Centre in Newhaven, England, from an existing warehouse. During the transition Roche experienced a number of unforeseen issues which are delaying the dispatch of some products, the company said.

On Monday, Roche, which is one of the biggest suppliers of the machines, chemicals and equipment used to process COVID-19 tests by NHS labs across the United Kingdom, alerted NHS about supply chain disruption causing a significant drop in the company’s processing capacity, the Financial Times here reported.

The Roche messages have already sent shockwaves through the NHS, with clinicians fearing it will exacerbate existing shortages in supplies of diagnostics equipment, both for coronavirus and other diseases, the FT report said.

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