NHS to get £8.0m payout from Aspen over anti-competitive practices
The Competition and Markets Authority on Tuesday ordered that pharma company Aspen payout £8.0m to the NHS after an investigation found that it had engaged in anti-competitive practices.
The CMA said those practices had pushed up the cost of fludrocortisone, the life-saving drug used to treat Addison’s disease that Aspen provided the public service with.
It was the first time that the Competition and Markets Authority had secured such a payment for the NHS.
“The CMA launched this investigation because we consider it unacceptable for the NHS – and the taxpayers who fund it - to have to pay millions of pounds more than they should for this life-saving drug,” said Andrea Coscelli, the chief executive of the CMA.
The investigation found that Aspen struck deals to pay two rival companies to stay out of the market for the drug so it could raise the price of its own brand without facing competition.
“The £8m Aspen has agreed to provide will save the NHS the time and expense of seeking damages in court,” said Coscelli.
“Importantly, Aspen has also committed to ensuring there are more competitors in this market, giving the NHS the opportunity to secure better value for UK taxpayers’ money in the future.”
The CMA also announced it had unrelated investigations open in relation to six other pharmaceutical drugs.