Two pharmaceutical firms have been fined greater than £260m by the UK’s competitors watchdog after the pair colluded to overcharge the NHS for nearly a decade.
Drugmakers Auden McKenzie and Accord UK, previously referred to as Actavis UK, charged the NHS excessively excessive costs for hydrocortisone tablets, costing the taxpayer lots of of tens of millions of kilos, in response to the Competitors and Markets Authority (CMA).
Hydrocortisone is used to deal with irritation and irritation, typically in folks whose our bodies don’t produce sufficient cortisol.
The 2 firms hiked the value of a single pack of tablets from 70p in 2008, to £88 in 2016, rising the price of the drug by greater than 10,000%.
“These have been egregious breaches of the regulation that artificially inflated the prices dealing with the NHS, lowering the cash accessible for affected person care,” the CMA mentioned.
The regulator added that these have been “a number of the most severe abuses we now have uncovered lately”, giving the NHS “no selection however to pay enormous sums of taxpayers’ cash for life-saving medicines”.
Auden McKenzie paid off its rivals in a bid to discourage them from bringing out their very own variations of the drug, permitting the corporate to retain a monopoly on manufacturing, the CMA mentioned.
“To guard its place as the only supplier of the tablets, and allow it to proceed to extend costs, Auden McKenzie additionally paid off would-be rivals AMCo (now referred to as Advanz Pharma) and Waymade to remain out of the market,” the watchdog mentioned.
After Auden McKenzie stopped promoting the drug, investigators on the CMA discovered that Actavis UK continued to repay AMCo after taking up the sale of the medication in 2015.