One of the principle problems with ‘Specials’ as a whole is that there is little or┬áno consistency in quality between different manufacturers. The reason for this is that unless manufacturers are working to detailed, exactly identical specifications then each manufacturer will potentially have a slightly different formulation and a different approach to the intrinsic quality of their ‘Specials’. The use of different excipients and preservative systems all have a bearing on product quality. Essentially this means that price is not necessarily a good measure by which to value ‘Specials’. Intrinsic quality requires a significant amount of investment and this will necessarily be reflected in the price of ‘Specials’. Another difficulty with ‘Specials’ is that any extension to their supply chain arguably has an impact on product quality. In the case of ‘Specials’ such an impact is difficult to validate. Furthermore, who carries liability for product quality in an extended supply chain remains unclear. For this reason, Mandeville Medicines prefers to operate a direct to customer service. Apart from clarifying legal liabilities for product quality, such an arrangement also means that Mandeville Medicines is able to control distribution costs and therefore improve the value of the ‘Specials’ that it supplies. Overall, Mandeville Medicines operates a fair value pricing system which endeavours to keep the price of its ‘Specials’ competitive whilst accommodating an appropriate level of investment in the intrinsic quality of its ‘Specials’.

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