Bitter UK medicine for Aspen


Bitter UK medicine for Aspen

Published Date: 2019-08-15 | Source: Stephen Gunnion | Author: Stephen Gunnion

Bitter UK medicine for Aspen

The pharmaceuticals group will pay £8 million and ensure competition in the supply of the medicine used to treat Addison's Disease.

Aspen has offered to pay the UK's National Health Service (NHS) £8 million as part of a wider package to resolve competition concerns over its supply of medicine. It has also agreed to dispose of its rights to the ambient fludrocortisone in the UK to an independent third party.

The settlement follows a probe started almost two years ago by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) into suspected anti-competitive arrangements regarding the supply of fludrocortisone acetate 0.1 mg tablets. It alleged that Aspen was in contravention of Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

The CMA said it was the first time it had secured such a payment to the NHS in one of its pharmaceutical investigations. Fludrocortisone is used to treat primary or secondary adrenal insufficiency, commonly known as Addison's Disease. The authority investigated arrangements that Aspen entered into with two rival companies in 2016, which it said left Aspen as the sole supplier of fludrocortisone, with the ability to set prices without facing any competition.

The CMA said Aspen could also face an additional £2.1 million in fines if its investigation concluded that the company broke the law under Article 102 of the TFEU.

Aspen said its commitments to the CMA in respect of its alleged anti-competitive conduct under Article 101 of the TFEU didn't constitute an admission of any wrongdoing with respect to Article 102.

Its shares fell 6.7% to R69.55 yesterday.

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