The Times reports that Sir Simon Stevens, head of the NHS, has criticised the pharmaceutical company Essential Pharma for “using the cover of coronavirus to try to price-gouge British taxpayers”.
Essential Pharma has announced plans to stop supplying Priadel, its bestselling brand of lithium, which is used to treat 50,000 patients with bipolar disorder. Doctors will now be forced to prescribe the brand, Camcolit, a brand owned by the same company, but which costs £87 for a 400mg dose. The price of Camolit was increased 2,600% two years ago from £3.22. Priadel costs about £4 for a pack of 100mg tablets and accounts for 90% of lithium prescriptions.
Full story in The Times, 26 September 2020