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Drug firm collusion ‘cost the NHS millions of pounds’

Four pharmaceutical firms have been accused of illegally colluding to restrict the supply of an anti-nausea tablet, driving the price paid for it by the NHS up by 700%.

An investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) found that the cost of the drug prochlorperazine rose from £6.49 per pack to £51.68, following an agreement between suppliers not to compete. The drug is commonly used by cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Alliance, one of the named companies, denied the allegations.

In a statement of objections, the CMA says that between 2013 and 2018, the annual cost of 3mg dissolvable prochlorperazine tablets increased from approximately £2.7m to £7.5m, even though the NHS dispensed fewer packs during that period.

Full story on BBC News, 23 May 2019.

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