Pfizer and Flynn Pharma
The Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) has recently fined pharmaceutical companies, Pfizer and Flynn Pharma, £84.2m and £5.2m respectively.
They have done this in response to the findings of an investigation which suggests that the companies worked together to increase the price the NHS paid for anti-epilepsy drug, Epanutin, by 2,600%. Pfizer and Flynn Pharma have signalled their intention to appeal the decision.
Will there be any disruption to the availability of Epanutin?
Flynn Pharma have sought to address concerns by saying: “We do not anticipate any disruptions to supply or availability whilst we separately address the findings of the CMA."
I take Epanutin, what should I do?
The supplier of the drug, Flynn Pharma, has said that they do not anticipate any disruptions to supply or availability. The CMA has given Pfizer (who manufacture the drug) and Flynn Pharma up to four months to reduce their pricing of the drug so that the NHS can continue to provide the medication at a reasonable price.
As with any prescribed medicine you should ensure you have sufficient medication for your needs, as you normally would. If you have any concerns about the supply of medication, you should speak with your GP and pharmacist who will be able to clarify stock levels. If you have any other concerns, you should speak to your epilepsy specialist.
Where will the fine money go?
Any fine money will be paid to the Government through HM Treasury. Pfizer and Flynn Pharma are currently appealing the CMA’s decision and the resulting fine. A number of petitions, including one by Surrey GP Dr Martin Brunet, have called for any fine monies to be given back to the NHS to provide more epilepsy specialist nurses. Research indicates that one third of children with epilepsy do not have access to an epilepsy specialist nurse.
What if I need to speak with someone?