Pharmaceutical Companies Gain Substantively At The NHS` Expense

UK pharmaceutical companies have been taking advantage of their sole provider positions to supply a drug to the NHS at inflated prices.

UK drug companies fined £260m for inflating prices for NHS
Drugs in a pharmacy/Picture credit: The Guardian

UK pharmaceutical companies have been taking advantage of their sole provider positions to supply a drug to the NHS at inflated prices.

Following the findings of the investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the drug`s makers Auden Mckenzie and Actavis UK, now known as Accord-UK, were fined an amount totalling more than £260 million.

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According to an investigation, the pharmaceutical companies have been inflating the price of hydrocortisone tablets by over 10,000 per cent for nearly a decade. It as also been discovered that they had been paying would-be rivals as a way of keepin them from the market.

Andrea Coscelli, the chief executive of the CMA said:“These are without doubt some of the most serious abuses we have uncovered in recent years. The actions of these firms cost the NHS – and therefore taxpayers – hundreds of millions of pounds.”

Hydrocortisone tablets are used by millions of people across the UK. They are used a remedy for adrenal insufficiency, whic include ife-threatening conditions such as Addison’s disease, the CMA said. The widespread use of the drug is evidence of how the companies have been gaining substantialy at the expense of tens of thousands.

In response to the fines for their conduct, Accord-UK is planning to make an appeal against the CMA.

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The company is “very disappointed” by the fine as it only links to the conduct before the company acquired Actavis in 2017, a spokesman of Accord-UK said. The company has“done nothing but continuously reduce the price in the face of significant competition” since the acquisition.

“We maintain that the case against Accord Healthcare is flawed legally and in respect of material facts. We are therefore considering all our options and intend to appeal the decision,” the spokesman added.

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