£70 million in fines for pharma firms
Important anti-epilepsy medicine
Pfizer fined £63 million
Flynn fined 6.7 million
NHS costs for rose from 2 million to 50 million in a single year
CMA CEO: “These firms illegally exploited their dominant positions to charge the NHS excessive prices and make more money for themselves – meaning patients and taxpayers lost out”
Fines are the result of an in-depth investigation
Competition and Markets Authority
Pfizer and Flynn charged unfairly high prices for capsules,
for over 4 years,
ultimately paid for by the NHS.
Firms de-branded the drug, previously known as Epanutin,
meaning it was no longer subject to price regulation
and the firms could set prices at their discretion.
Pfizer and Flynn were the dominant suppliers of the drug in the UK at the time,
the NHS had no choice but to pay the inflated final price for this.
Over the 4 years
Pfizer charged prices between 780% and 1,600% higher than previously.
The company supplied the drug to Flynn, which then sold the capsules on to wholesalers and pharmacies at a price between 2,300% and 2,600% higher than the prices previously charged by Pfizer.
This illegal behaviour led to NHS annual costs for phenytoin capsules increasing from £2 million in 2012 to approximately £50 million the following year.
Andrea Coscelli, Chief Executive CMA, Competition and Markets Authority
Phenytoin is an essential drug relied on daily by thousands of people throughout the UK
to prevent life-threatening epileptic seizures.
These firms illegally exploited their dominant positions to charge the NHS excessive prices and make more money for themselves –
meaning patients and taxpayers lost out.
Such behaviour will not be tolerated, and the companies must now face the consequences of their illegal action.
Pharma Companies Fined £70 Million for Overcharging the NHS
CMA welcomes Court of Appeal judgment in Phenytoin case