In the News
Pfizer and Flynn fined £70m for price fixing a life-saving epilepsy drug
In an egregious example of price fixing, Pfizer and Flynn have been fined £70 million for abusing their dominant positions to overcharge the NHS for a life-saving epilepsy drug.
This is a really good example of anti-competitive behaviour being investigated by the UK’s main competition watchdog.
The CMA report will make many people very angry indeed.
Having rebranded their drug Phenytoin to take it out of the realms of price regulation, Pfizer and Flynn charged unfairly high prices for phenytoin sodium capsules for over 4 years, ultimately paid for by the NHS. 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.
Price fixing in this manner is clearly illegal as the final legal judgements have made clear. The final fines are: £63,300,000 (Pfizer) and £6,704,422 (Flynn).
But what of any judicial action against senior executives? Even fines in the tens of millions of pounds are small relative to their annual revenues and profits.