CMA Accuses Four Pharma Companies of Illegal Anti-Competitive Conduct

June 19, 2019

CMA has issued a statement of objections provisionally finding that four pharmaceutical companies have broken competition law.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has issued a statement of objections provisionally finding that four pharmaceutical companies have broken competition law, it was announced in a June 18, 2019 press release.

Competitors King and Auden McKenzie have been accused of sharing out the supply of nortriptyline to a large pharmaceutical wholesaler, while King, Alissa, and Lexon have also been accused of exchanging commercially sensitive information, such as prices, volumes, and entry plans, to maintain high prices of nortriptyline. The antidepressant, nortriptyline, is prescribed by the National Health Service (NHS) to thousands of patients each month. In 2015, NHS spending on the drug reached a high of £38 million (US$48 million).

“If pharmaceutical companies get together to restrict competition for the supply of a drug, this can lead to the NHS-and ultimately the United Kingdom taxpayer-paying over the odds for what are often essential medical treatments,” said Geoff Steadman, director of antitrust at the CMA, in the release. “We expect drug suppliers to abide by competition law so that the NHS is not denied the opportunity of benefitting from lower prices for medicines.”

As this represents the CMA’s provisional findings, all four companies will be given the chance to make representations to the authority before a final decision is reached.

Source: Gov.uk