Necessity Supplies is a “parallel” importer of pharmaceutical products. When prices charged for pharmaceutical products are cheaper in Europe, it imports them into the UK, and when prices in the UK are cheaper, it exports them to Europe. It differentiates itself from other parallel importers by holding the licences for products sold in the UK, making it similar to fellow Profit Track company, Waymade Healthcare. Company profits have grown by 105% pa, from £814,000 in 1995 to £7m in 1998. Sales in the same period have increased by 32% pa to £60.4m. Necessity Supplies was founded in 1986 by Kenyan-born brothers, Bharat and Ketan Mehta. Ketan was already working as a chemist in Richmond and Bharat emigrated from Kenya to help with the start up. The Middlesex-based company states its key challenge as managing exchange rate fluctuations. The brothers have a hardline Eurosceptic position, since price transparency flowing from a single currency would erode a central plank of business: exploiting the variations in prices charged for pharmaceutical products in different European countries. The brothers, with an estimated fortune of £60m, were named as the UK’s 21st richest Asians by the Sunday Times Rich List 2000.
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