A PYMNTS Company

UK: Three drug firms accused of illegal market sharing

 |  October 3, 2019

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has provisionally found that 3 drug firms signed an illegal agreement that resulted in significant price hikes for an essential medicine.

In a Statement of Objections to be issued Thursday, October 3, the CMA sets out its provisional view that, in 2016, pharmaceutical company Aspen unlawfully agreed to pay 2 other firms—Amilco and Tiofarma—to stay out of the UK market for fludrocortisone acetate tablets. This is a prescription-only medicine that thousands of patients rely on to treat primary or secondary adrenal insufficiency, commonly known as Addison’s Disease.

This alleged illegal agreement protected Aspen’s UK monopoly in relation to the supply of the drug to the National Health Service and gave the firm the opportunity to increase prices by up to 1,800%. 

The CMA has provisionally found that Tiofarma and Amilco colluded with Aspen by agreeing to stay out of the market so that Aspen could maintain its position as the sole UK supplier of fludrocortisone. In exchange, it is alleged that Tiofarma was made the sole manufacturer of fludrocortisone for direct sale in the UK, and Amilco received a 30% share of the increased prices that Aspen was able to charge.

Full Content: Gov UK

Want more news? Subscribe to CPI’s free daily newsletter for more headlines and updates on antitrust developments around the world.