So a couple of days ago I posted about the ridiculous price I'd just paid for a treatment for a teething baby. The good people at Alliance Pharmaceuticals (who make the wondrous but scarce 'Ashton and Parsons' powder) got back to me earlier today with this response.
Alliance Pharmaceuticals acquired the Ashton and Parsons brand from Reckitt Benckiser/SSL in 2011. We knew when we did so that demand was beginning to outstrip that company’s manufacturing capacity. Integral to the acquisition therefore, has been our upgrading and expansion of the product’s manufacturing capability not only to meet current demand but also to satisfy on-going and future customer needs. As I am sure you appreciate it is not in our interests to have unhappy customers who cannot find the product and please be assured we are working hard to ensure that our upgraded manufacturing process means that availability issues become a thing of the past.
Of course human nature dictates that if a shortage is perceived people stock pile and even in some cases try, to resell on sites such as e bay at hugely inflated prices. We don’t like this situation but regrettably it is outside our control.
Please be assured that we sell the product to everyone at the same wholesale price and recommend a selling price (RSP) of £5.35 per pack. As you have seen this may vary significantly. We have no ability to influence this. The majority of the retailers we supply have maintained the RSP of £5.35 we have suggested, but they have also seen excessive purchasing and have had to restrict some purchases to try to control the reselling you have seen.
We believe that increased manufacturing capability will mean that these issues will be resolved and should end the speculative trading and pricing should return to the RSP.
I will be in touch again when we have confirmed dates for increased supply.
If you have any further questions please do contact me again.
The story here seems to be that retailers (both conventional and via ebay) are fleecing the mothers of young babies...because they can. If you have paid more than the regulation £5.35 let me know in the comments below! Name and shame may be the way forward....