Intended for healthcare professionals


NHS was overcharged for thyroid drug after company raised price by 6000%

BMJ 2017; 359 doi: (Published 21 November 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j5408
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. London

The UK competition authority has provisionally found that a drug company abused its dominant position by overcharging for a drug used to treat hypothyroidism, costing the NHS tens of millions of pounds a year.

Last year the NHS spent £34m (€38.4m: $45m) on liothyronine, compared with only £600 000 in 2006. The price increase of almost 6000% was imposed by Concordia, a Canadian drug company that was the monopoly supplier of the drug until early this year, and by two other companies that had owned it previously.

An investigation was opened in October 2016 by the Competition and …

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