- CMA has fined four pharmaceutical companies for unethical practices.
- CMA urges aware citizens to expose unscrupulous pharmaceutical companies.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has ruled that four pharmaceutical companies, Accord-UK, Alissa Healthcare, Auden Mckenzie, and King Pharmaceuticals, have broken the law in relation to the anti-competitive supply of nortriptyline.
Nortriptyline is a drug that is used by thousands of patients every day to relieve symptoms of depression. CMA found that the supply of this drug had been shared out between King and Auden to a large pharmaceutical wholesaler, rather than the two companies competing.
From September 2014 to May 2015, the two companies agreed allegedly that King would supply only 25mg tablets and Auden Mckenzie would supply only 10mg tablets. The two guilty firms also colluding to fix quantities and prices. After the CMA probe in September 2019, both firms admitted to breaking the law. The Accord-UK was also held accountable due to taking control of Auden’s nortriptyline business after this market sharing ended. Alissa has also been fined for illegally sharing commercially sensitive information, to try to keep nortriptyline prices up.
The CMA is fining King and Accord-UK £75,573 and £1,882,238 respectively. Accord-UK and Auden have agreed to make a £1 million payment to the National Health Service (NHS) in connection with the case. CMA chief executive Andrea Coscelli said:
“The firms exchanged sensitive information and shared out supply to try and keep prices up, meaning the NHS – and ultimately the UK taxpayer – could have been paying over the odds for this vital drug” explained . That’s why we’ve worked hard to secure £3.4 million in fines and another pay out for the NHS.”
CMA Seeks Helping Hand from citizens
Declaring market sharing as illegal, CMA has urged people to come forward and expose unscrupulous companies if they have information. CMA also said that it was the responsibilities of pharmaceutical companies to know which practices were illegal.