The CMA has provisionally found that Concordia Healthcare abused its dominant position by raising the price of an essential drug more than 5,500 per cent for the National Health Service.

Lesley Hannah a Senior Associate who specialises in competition litigation at Hausfeld & Co says:

“We welcome the CMA’s provisional finding that Concordia abused its dominant position in relation to liothyronine tablets, a form of thyroid medication. The CMA has provisionally concluded that Concordia breached competition law by exploiting the release of liothyronine tablets from the stricter pricing controls which apply to branded medication, to increase their price by almost 6,000% from £4.46 a packet to £258 a packet.

The NHS is potentially a victim again of alleged anti-competitive pricing practices by manufacturers in the pharmaceutical sector, with potential losses in the millions as a result of this conduct. Should the CMA ultimately conclude that Concordia has infringed competition law, the NHS would be expected to pursue damages claims in respect of its losses via private enforcement action in the courts of England and Wales.

The investigation, one of a number of ongoing CMA investigations in the pharmaceutical sector, shows how important the CMA’s role is in monitoring compliance with and sanctioning breaches of the UK’s competition rules. This case is a particularly important one, as it highlights again the issue of the absence of an effective regime for the regulation of prices of de-branded medicines”