Actavis UK accused of overcharging hydrocortisone drug

AP News
|
Posted: Dec 16, 2016 12:10 PM

LONDON (AP) — British regulators have accused Actavis UK of charging excessive and unfair prices after the pharmaceutical company increased the price of some hydrocortisone tablets by more than 12,000 percent.

The Competition and Markets Authority said Friday that Actavis UK raised the price of its generic 10 mg hydrocortisone tablets to 88 pounds ($110) per pack by March of 2016 from the 70 pence that another company charged for a branded product prior to April 2008. While branded drugs are subject to price regulation, generics are not.

"We allege that the company has taken advantage of this situation and the removal of the drug from price regulation, leaving the (National Health Service) — and ultimately the taxpayer — footing the bill for the substantial price rises," the authority said.

The findings are still provisional.

Actavis UK was acquired by Israel-based Teva Pharmaceutical Industries in August. Teva said it intends to defend the allegations and that it believes the CMA's intervention raises "serious policy concerns."

The case is part of a wider clampdown on pharmaceutical firms that supply drugs to Britain's NHS. Earlier this month, Pfizer and distributor Flynn Pharma were fined a record 89.4 million pounds for increasing the cost of an epilepsy drug by as much as 2,600 percent.