Four pharmaceutical companies have been accused of colluding to artificially increase the price of a drug used to treat nausea and dizziness by almost 700%.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) alleged that, between June 2013 and July 2018, Alliance Pharmaceuticals, Focus, Lexon, and Medreich agreed not to compete for the supply of prescription-only prochlorperazine 3mg dissolvable buccal tablets to the NHS. The CMA provisionally found that Alliance Pharmaceuticals entered into an agreement to supply its prochlorperazine buccal tablets exclusively to Focus.
The NHS faced 700 per cent price increase for the anti-nausea, anti-dizziness drug, with a pack of 50 tablets rising in cost from £6.49 to £51.68 between December 2013 and December 2017, the provisional finding from the CMA said. “From 2014 to 2018, the annual costs incurred by the NHS for prochlorperazine increased from about £2.7m to about £7.5m, even though the number of packs dispensed fell,” the statement said.