Intended for healthcare professionals


Drug firms colluded to hike fludrocortisone price by 1800%, says watchdog

BMJ 2019; 367 doi: (Published 04 October 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l5881
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. The BMJ

Three drug companies signed an illegal agreement that resulted in price hikes of up to 1800% for an essential medicine, concludes a provisional finding from the UK’s competition watchdog.

In a “statement of objections” issued on 3 October, the UK Competition and Markets Authority set out its provisional view that, in 2016, the drug company Aspen unlawfully agreed to pay two other firms, Amilco and Tiofarma, to stay out of the UK market for fludrocortisone acetate tablets, a prescription only medicine mainly used to treat Addison’s disease.

The alleged illegal agreement protected Aspen’s UK monopoly to supply the drug to the NHS and enabled the company to increase …

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