In the UK, Pfizer and a partner hiked anti-epilepsy drug price 2600% overnight
US pharma giant Pfizer and a partnering distributor have been slapped with a record fine for hiking UK drug prices by 2,600% overnight.
In September 2012, the amount the National Health Service (NHS) was charged for 100mg packs of anti-epilepsy drug phenytoin sodium went from £2.83 to £67.50 ($3.56 to $84.98), according to the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). As a result of the price increase, NHS expenditure on the drug increased from about £2 million ($2.52M) a year in 2012 to around £50 million ($62.95M) in 2013.
The CMA has ordered the two companies involved, the US pharma giant Pfizer and UK-based distributor Flynn Pharma, to pay record fines of £84.2 million ($106.01M) and £5.2 million ($6.55M) respectively, and to reduce their prices for phenytoin sodium. Both have said that they will be taking legal action to overturn the decision.
Pfizer continued to manufacture the phenytoin sodium capsules and sold them to Flynn Pharma, but at increased prices. The CMA says they were “between 780 percent and 1600 percent higher than Pfizer’s previous prices.” According to the CMA, Flynn Pharma increased the prices yet further when it sold them to UK wholesalers and pharmacies: “between 2300 percent and 2600 percent higher than those they had previously paid for the drug.”
Source: In the UK, Pfizer and a partner hiked anti-epilepsy drug price 2600% overnight | Ars Technica