Intended for healthcare professionals


Drug company Aspen may pay NHS £8m after investigation alleges illegal deal to hike drug price

BMJ 2019; 366 doi: (Published 14 August 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;366:l5152
  1. Elisabeth Mahase
  1. The BMJ

The drug company Aspen may have to pay the NHS £8m (€8.7m; $9.7m) after an investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) into an arrangement it made with two rival companies, which left it as the sole supplier of a drug and therefore able to set prices without competition.1

The CMA suspected that the 2016 arrangement had broken competition law, as Aspen was believed to have paid competitors to stay out of the market. The drug in question—fludrocortisone acetate (100 microgram tablets)—is mainly used to treat Addison’s disease.

As a result of the ongoing investigation Aspen approached the CMA and …

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