CMA slaps Pfizer with record £63m fine for ‘illegally exploiting dominant position to overcharge NHS’
Drugmakers Pfizer, as well as Flynn, received a fine of close to £70m after they overcharged the NHS for a life-saving epilepsy drug, the UK competition watchdog has announced.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said the two pharmaceutical giants “abused their dominant positions” in the market to charge unfairly high prices over a four-year period.
NHS costs for the phenytoin sodium capsules jumped from £2m to £50m in a single year after prices were hiked.
The CMA said it has fined Pfizer £63m and Flynn £6.7m respectively.
Andrea Coscelli, chief executive of the CMA, said: “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.”