UK Issues Record Fine to Drugmakers for Price Gouging and Collusion

July 19, 2021

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said drugmakers Auden McKenzie and Actavis UK — now Accord-UK — massively overcharged the National Health Service (NHS) for hydrocortisone pills for almost 10 years.

The British regulator has fined those and other companies involved in the scheme a record $358 million.

The CMA’s investigation revealed that the cost of hydrocortisone tablets increased by more than 10,000 percent over the period and that Auden McKenzie and Actavis UK paid off rivals to avoid competition. 

At one point, the NHS was being charged more than $110 for a single pack of tablets that previously cost less than $1.38, CMA said.

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