Competition & Markets Authority
Second firm admits illegal role in agreement for essential drug
Drug company Tiofarma has admitted that it took part in an agreement that resulted in significant price hikes for an essential medicine.
This means that 2 of the 3 companies under investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) have now admitted to an allegation that they illegally took part in an anti-competitive agreement.
The CMA has alleged, and provisionally found, that the agreement between Aspen, Tiofarma and Amilco contributed to the price of fludrocortisone acetate tablets supplied to the NHS increasing by up to 1800%. Fludrocortisone is a life-saving medicine that thousands of patients rely on to treat adrenal insufficiency, commonly known as Addison’s Disease.
In October 2019, the CMA issued a ‘statement of objections’ provisionally finding that the 3 suppliers had broken the law. The CMA’s provisional finding was that the agreement involved Tiofarma and Amilco staying out of the UK fludrocortisone market so that Aspen could maintain its position as the sole UK supplier. The CMA also provisionally found that, in exchange, Tiofarma was given the right to be the sole manufacturer of the drug for direct sale in the UK, and Amilco received a 30% share of the increased prices that Aspen was able to charge.
By the time the CMA issued its ‘statement of objections’, Aspen had already admitted its part in the agreement and agreed to pay a maximum fine of £2.1 million if there is a formal final decision that the law has been broken. Aspen has also made a payment of £8m in compensation to the NHS as part of a package to address the CMA’s wider concerns about its sale of fludrocortisone.
Tiofarma has now agreed to pay a maximum fine of £186,000 if there is a formal final decision that the law has been broken. The third company, Amilco, has made no admission of liability and the CMA’s probe is ongoing.
Find out more on the CMA case page.
Latest News from
Competition & Markets Authority
Payment software deal does not raise competition concerns19/02/2020 09:20:00
Payments company Bottomline’s purchase of Experian Payments Gateway does not raise competition concerns, an in-depth CMA investigation has provisionally found.
Latest results published in current account customer satisfaction survey18/02/2020 09:20:00
Following a survey of thousands of customers, the fourth set of current account customer satisfaction results were published yesterday.
CMA to examine water regulator’s price review after appeals17/02/2020 09:10:00
Following appeals from water companies, the CMA will consider Ofwat’s proposed 2020-25 price control.
CMA demands action after Tesco blocks rival supermarkets14/02/2020 15:10:00
The CMA is calling on major supermarkets to act after finding Tesco has been unlawfully stopping rivals from opening shops near its stores.
Offshore accommodation merger abandoned14/02/2020 09:15:00
Prosafe has abandoned its proposed deal with Floatel after an in-depth CMA merger probe highlighted serious competition concerns.
Deal between Google and Looker given the go-ahead13/02/2020 14:15:00
Following a thorough review, the CMA has cleared Google LLC’s (Google) purchase of Looker Data Sciences, Inc. (Looker).
Shoppers could lose out in sports fashion merger12/02/2020 12:20:00
The CMA has provisionally found that JD Sports’ takeover of close competitor Footasylum could leave shoppers worse off, both in-store and online.
CMA provisionally finds competition concerns in airline booking merger10/02/2020 09:20:00
An in-depth investigation has provisionally found that Sabre’s proposed takeover of Farelogix raises competition concerns.