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Pfizer and UK distributor overcharged NHS by 2,600% on epilepsy drug

by LLB Editor
5th Aug 21 10:23 am

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and British distributor Flynn overcharged the National Health Service for vital anti-epilepsy drugs by as much as 2,600% overnight, the UK’s competition regulator has found after re-examining a 2016 decision.

The CMA said: “Following the overnight price increases by the companies, NHS spending on phenytoin sodium capsules rose from around £2m a year in 2012 to about £50m in 2013. For over four years, Pfizer’s prices were between 780% and 1,600% higher than it had previously charged. Pfizer then supplied the drug to Flynn, which sold it to wholesalers and pharmacies at prices between 2,300% and 2,600% higher than those they had paid previously.”

Andrea Coscelli, the CMA’s chief executive, added: “Thousands of patients depend on this drug to prevent life-threatening seizures as a result of their epilepsy. As the CAT recognised, this is a matter that is important for government, for the public as patients and taxpayers, and for the pharmaceutical industry itself. Protecting these patients, the NHS and the taxpayers who fund it, is our priority.”

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