Canadian company Concordia accused of overcharging NHS by millions

Concordia have reportedly raised the price of a life-changing thyroid drug by 6,000 percent over the past ten years.

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority have said the firm has “abused its dominant position to overcharge the NHS”. In 2016 alone, more than 34 million was spent on the liothyronine tablets. These tablets help treat hypothyroidism, which affects at least 2 in every 100 people.

Concordia have reportedly overcharged the NHS. Photograph: Reuters

In 2007, the amount paid per pack was around £4.50. By July 2017, this rose to more than £250.

CMA Chief Executive Andrea Coscelli said pharmaceutical companies who are overcharging these drugs are forcing the NHS – and the taxpayer – to overpay for vital medical treatments.

He said: 

We allege that Concordia used its market dominance in the supply of liothyronine tablets to do exactly that.”

The decision as to whether or not there has been a breach of competition law is yet to be made. The CMA can fine companies up to 10 percent of their worldwide annual turnover if they are found guilty.

He added:

“We will carefully consider any representations from the company before deciding whether the law has in fact been broken.”

Liothyronine tablets help treat hypothyroidism. Photograph: Google

However, Concordia denied any laws were infringed as they stated:

The pricing of liothyronine has been conducted openly and transparently with the Department of Health in the UK over a period of ten years.

Over that time, significant investment has been made in this medicine to ensure its continued availability for patients in the UK, to the specifications required by the medicines and healthcare products regulatory agency in the UK.”

Concordia have said they will cooperate fully with CMA’s investigation.

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