South Africa’s Aspen Pharmacare Holdings has agreed to pay Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) £8 million to resolve concerns related to overpayment for a treatment.
The country’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) says the settlement follows an investigation into arrangements Aspen made with rival pharmaceutical firms in 2016, to keep them out of the market for the supply of Fludrocortisone 0.1 mg tablets.
According to the CMA, the prescription-only treatment is paid for by the NHS in the UK and the state-run health service had to pay higher prices for it because of Aspen’s arrangements.
Fludrocortisone is mainly used to treat Addison’s disease, in which the body’s adrenal glands fail to produce sufficient hormones. Britain’s competition regulator says Aspen could also have to pay an additional £2.1 million in fines as part of a wider package if the investigation concludes that the company broke the law.
The regulator says it is also looking at two other companies that were involved in dealings with Aspen.
Aspens says it will dispose its right to Fludrocortisone in the UK to an independent third party and re-introduce cold storage versions of the treatment into the country.
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