Upcoming Webinars Archived Webinars Training Vitals Host A Webinar About Get Updates Contact

Pfizer Fined Nearly £90 Million for Epilepsy Drug Price Hike in UK

XTALKS VITALS NEWS

The CMA claimed that the drugmaker was charging “excessive and unfair prices” for the epilepsy medication.

Share this!

December 8, 2016 | by Sarah Hand, M.Sc.

Yesterday, pharmaceutical company Pfizer, and their UK distributer, Flynn Pharma, were fined £89.4 million by British regulators in response to the increasing cost of an epilepsy drug. The companies were accused of raising the price of the medication by almost 2,600 percent.

According to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), 48,000 people in the UK use the drug. The CMA claimed that the drugmaker was charging “excessive and unfair prices” for the epilepsy medication.

“This is the highest fine the CMA has imposed and it sends out a clear message to the sector that we are determined to crack down on such behavior and to protect customers, including the NHS, and taxpayers from being exploited,” said Philip Marsden, chairman of the case decision group for the CMA investigation. Pfizer absorbed the bulk of the fine at £84.2 million, while Flynn Pharma was charged the remaining £5.2 million.

The companies reportedly stopped selling the drug under its branded name, Epanutin, in order to raise the price of the phenytoin sodium capsules. In 2002, England’s National Health Service (NHS) spent £2 million on the epilepsy drug; after the price increase in 2013, this bill was increased to £50 million.



“The companies deliberately exploited the opportunity offered by de-branding to hike up the price for a drug which is relied upon by many thousands of patients,” said Marsden. Both Pfizer and Flynn Pharma are opposed to the ruling – with plans to appeal – saying that the company was losing money on sales of Epanutin.

“In this transaction, and in all of our business operations, we approached this divestment with integrity, and believe it fully complies with established competition law,” said a spokesperson from Pfizer. “The ruling highlights real policy and legal issues concerning the respective roles of both the Department of Health and the CMA, in regulating the price of pharmaceutical products in the U.K. Pfizer will seek clarity on these issues as part of the appeal process.”

The company maintains that the revised cost of Epanutin is 25 to 40 percent less compared to an equivalent epilepsy drug. Drug pricing has been a hot button issue in both the UK and the US for the past few years, with pharmaceutical companies facing increased scrutiny regarding their pricing policies.


Keywords: Epilepsy, Drug Pricing, NHS


| NEXT ARTICLE | MORE NEWS | BLOGS | VIDEOS | POLLS & QUIZZES | WEBINARS |

Share this with your colleagues!

MORE NEWS
Researchers Identify Role of ApoE4 Gene as Possible Drug Target in Alzheimer’s Disease

September 21, 2017 - A team of neurology researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that in the presence of the ApoE4 protein, another protein known as tau forms tangles in the brain which contributes to neuronal damage characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease.

Featured In: Life Science News


New Guidelines Address CAR-T Immunotherapy Toxicities to Prevent Patient Deaths

September 20, 2017 - Clinicians at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have published new guidelines in the journal, Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology, which could help in the management of these toxicities.

Featured In: Biotech News, Drug Safety News


Microneedle Skin Patch Could Treat Common Metabolic Disorders

September 19, 2017 - Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) and the University of North Carolina have developed a microneedle skin patch impregnated with a drug capable of converting white fat into calorie-burning brown fat.

Featured In: Medical Device News


LEAVE A COMMENT
 
  
THE XTALKS VITALS INDUSTRY BLOG

Five Reasons Why Toronto is Emerging as a Major Life Sciences Hub

REGISTER FOR THESE WEBINARS

Development and Manufacture of Highly Potent API Drug Products Throughout the Clinical Phases


Innovation through Integration – Providing Next Generation Biomedical Devices and Interconnects


Clinical Payments Case Studies: Improving Efficiency, Cash Management, and Compliance


Why Phase 3 Trials Fail: Oncology Case Studies and Lessons Learned


Copyright © 2016-2017 Honeycomb Worldwide Inc.