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Pfizer and Flynn Pharma fined £90m for excessive pricing — what are the implications?
On 7 December 2016 the Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) took an infringement decision, resulting in the fining of pharmaceutical company Pfizer and distributor Flynn Pharma. The companies were fined almost £90m in total (Pfizer received a record fine of £84.2m and Flynn Pharma a lesser £5.2m) as a result of charging excessive and unfair prices to the NHS for phenytoin sodium capsules, which are used in the treatment of epilepsy. Although businesses are generally free to set prices as they see fit, those in a dominant position have a special responsibility under competition law not to abuse their market power. In this case, the CMA decided that Pfizer and Flynn Pharma each held a dominant position in the markets for the manufacture and supply of phenytoin sodium capsules, and abused it by charging excessive prices.
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