Pfizer, illegal exploitation

£70 million in fines for pharma firms

Overcharged NHS

Phenytoin sodium

Important anti-epilepsy medicine

Pfizer fined £63 million

Flynn fined 6.7 million

NHS costs for rose from 2 million to 50 million in a single year

CMA CEO: “These firms illegally exploited their dominant positions to charge the NHS excessive prices and make more money for themselves – meaning patients and taxpayers lost out”

Fines are the result of an in-depth investigation

Competition and Markets Authority

Pfizer and Flynn charged unfairly high prices for capsules,

for over 4 years,

ultimately paid for by the NHS.

Firms de-branded the drug, previously known as Epanutin,

meaning it was no longer subject to price regulation

and the firms could set prices at their discretion.

Pfizer and Flynn were the dominant suppliers of the drug in the UK at the time,

the NHS had no choice but to pay the inflated final price for this.

Over the 4 years

Pfizer charged prices between 780% and 1,600% higher than previously.

The company supplied the drug to Flynn, which then sold the capsules on to wholesalers and pharmacies at a price between 2,300% and 2,600% higher than the prices previously charged by Pfizer.

This illegal behaviour led to NHS annual costs for phenytoin capsules increasing from £2 million in 2012 to approximately £50 million the following year.

Andrea Coscelli, Chief Executive CMA, Competition and Markets Authority

Phenytoin is an essential drug relied on daily by thousands of people throughout the UK

to prevent life-threatening epileptic seizures.

These firms illegally exploited their dominant positions to charge the NHS excessive prices and make more money for themselves –

meaning patients and taxpayers lost out.

Such behaviour will not be tolerated, and the companies must now face the consequences of their illegal action.

Pharma Companies Fined £70 Million for Overcharging the NHS

CMA welcomes Court of Appeal judgment in Phenytoin case






Written by Dr. John Campbell

Hello Everyone,My name is John Campbell and I am a retired Nurse Teacher and A and E nurse based in England. I also do some teaching in Asia and Africa when time permits. These videos are to help students to learn the background to all forms of health care. My PhD focused on the development of open learning resources for nurses nationally and internationally.


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  1. Sorry, never trusted pills because the companies have no liabilities. Besides drugs only treat symptoms not causes. To get rid of the cause you need to get rid of the chemical, physical, emotional stress. That starts with diet, exercise, sleep, meditation. Fix the gut is primarily the solution to a number of problems.

  2. How damning that very few – if any – UK based General Practitioners choose to comment and make their opinions known on this Public forum. Many are too busy prescribing Statins, anti-depressants and practicing 'political correctness'.
    And how interesting that although seasonal influenza and viral pnemonia kills many thousands of Brtish citizens each year, there were never any rules or guidelines given by mainstream medicine advising we should wear oxygen-restricting synthetic face coverings and rubber gloves until Covid came along…. weird or what?!

  3. Hmm, seems the utility and energy companies are taking a leaf out of the drug companies book. With Shell, BP and the former British Gas making record profits there is no way to see this other than as price manipulation by these organisations to effectively defraud the public, IMO.

  4. a auto when being repaired you try the easiest thing 1st. not medical with the snake symbol on it though. marihuana should be tried 1st before any pharma. grow your own medicine. some people have 20 or more for things like parkinson's that don't work as good as a "weed". when all that matters is profit do you think anything else would be done for corporations ? cost same as a tomato to grow and sequesters carbon to boot.

  5. Yes, as usual John, you speak out when many other medical/healthcare professionals remain SILENT! Governments should manufacture and own GENERIC drugs and sell these drugs to the doctors at a reasonable price. Some years ago, GSK (a pharma company) were fined three-billion dollars after pleading guilty to criminal fraud in America. But the average GP in the UK isn't interested in small details like that!

  6. Pfizer was known to be corrupt and committing illegal activities before the corona virus hit and yet , governments continued to involve themselves with them .
    Imagine how much the governments were overcharged for the corona vaccines and booster shots ?
    An da , some governments have them immunity from any responsibility for ill effects from the vaccine ..
    I imagine the fines are a small payout verses the billions acquired from overcharging.

  7. it just beggars belief.
    OK – Pfizer had some dominant market position and so tried to charge these OBSCENE increases. SO… why didn't someone in the purchasing chain of the NHS, decide to EXPOSE this disgusting exploitation and bring global shame on their corporate reputations ?
    Too many hero's…….. after the event.

  8. Of course a Tory government won't set up a pharma company to produce generic drugs 'for the people, by the people'. Even without global warming, there's more chance of hell freezing over! Who amongst them doesn't have a vested interest, or mates with a vested interest, in the pharmaceutical companies and the privatisation of the NHS?

  9. The pharmaceutical sector is the second biggest crime gang in the world. We knew this, but in the early days of the epidemic, we had no other option but to trust them. Yet they didn't change their game. First of all, vaccine formulas were not shared to protect the population in less wealthy areas of the world. Another example is that Pfizer had negotiate a price per vial of five doses with the Belgian government. When it turned out that the extra margin in the vial was sufficient for an extra sixth dose, they increased prices by 20%, justifying this as by the contract they had promised five doses not six. Yet they sold the same amount of vaccine! The only gang that is worse are the politicians who allow, approve, or even promote this.

  10. How many people didn't use it because the couldn't afford to buy it? There's no amount of fines that can account for lives adversely effected, physically and monetarily.

  11. Yes big pharma companies are evil money hungry perpetual motion machines. To stop them charging insane prices, I have had the same idea. Government entity lead pharma factory, that makes all that is needed. Actually India did this ages ago. They ignored the patent laws and is now making medicines for the price of pennies. So even the poor people can afford. If India can do this why not any government..?

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