Pfizer fined record £84.2m for overcharging NHS

Pfizer fined record £84.2m for overcharging NHS

8 minutes ago

Drugs giant Pfizer has been fined a record £84.2m by the UK’s competition watchdog for overcharging the NHS for an anti-epilepsy drug.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) also fined distributor Flynn Pharma £5.2m for the 2,600% price increase for the drug in 2012.

NHS spending on the capsules rose from £2m a year in 2012 to about £50m in 2013.

Pfizer rejected the findings and said it would appeal against the decision.

UK prices for the drug were many times higher than in Europe, the CMA said.

Philip Marsden of the CMA said: “The companies deliberately exploited the opportunity offered by de-branding to hike up the price for a drug which is relied upon by many thousands of patients.

“These extraordinary price rises have cost the NHS and the taxpayer tens of millions of pounds.”

However, Pfizer said the drug – which went by the brand name Epanutin – was a loss making product, and that the deal with Flynn “represented an opportunity to secure ongoing supply of an important medicine for patients with epilepsy.”

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