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article imageCMA accuses Pfizer and Flynn Pharma of overcharging

By Owen Weldon     Aug 7, 2015 in Business
The UK's watchdog is accusing pharmaceutical firms Pfizer and Flynn Pharma of charging unfair prices for an anti-epilepsy drug.
The drug in question is Phenytoin, and it is used by more than 40,000 people in England. Pfizer makes the drug and Flynn sells it. Pfizer said that it was cooperating with the Competition and Markets Authority
The CMA said the NHS spent around $3.5 million on the drug, when Pfizer made it under it Epanutin brand name. In 2013, that amount skyrocketed to around $77 million.
Companies that are found to have breached competition law can be fined by the CMA of up to 10 percent of annual global sales.
Ann Pope, the senior director of antitrust enforcement at the CMA, said that businesses are generally free to set prices as they see fit, but companies that hold a dominate position in the market have a special responsibility to act in a way that doesn't impair competition.
Pope said that before they decide whether or not the law has been infringed, they will consider any representations from the two pharmaceutical companies.
A spokeswoman for Pfizer said that ensuring a sustainable supply of products to those in the UK is extremely important to them, and that was at the heart of their decision to divest the product.
The spokeswoman added that eventually all parties will have the chance to respond to the CMA's statement of objections before the CMA makes the decision as to whether or not the law was infringed upon.
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