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UK Competition and Markets Authority Consolidates Hydrocortisone Probe On Account of Excessive Pricing and Other Competition Violations

  • 12/02/2020
  • Articles

The UK Competition and Markets Authority announced this morning that it has issued a supplementary statement of objections (“SSO”) in its inquiry into alleged excessive and unfair pricing, anti-competitive agreements and abusive conduct in relation to the supply of hydrocortisone tablets in the UK (see, attachment).

The CMA has been conducting three separate investigations in this matter and has issued previous statements of objections on four occasions between December 2016 and February 2019 (see, Van Bael & Bellis Life Sciences Newsflash of 6 March 2017).

The new SSO has brought all these cases together and has allowed the CMA to reconsider specific aspects of its provisional findings in the previous statements of objections. The CMA accuses a range of companies, including Auden Mckenzie and its successor Accord-UK (previously: Actavis UK), Waymade and Advanz Pharma (previously: Concordia and AMCo), of having charged excessive and unfair prices for hydrocortisone tablets and having entered into agreements that cemented a prevailing dominant position on the market.

The CMA also seeks to attribute liability to other parties which at various points in time had ownership of some of the accused firms.

Hydrocortisone tablets are the primary treatment for people suffering from the life-threatening Addison's disease which causes adrenal glands to produce insufficient amounts of natural steroid hormones. According to the CMA, there are limited alternative treatments for hydrocortisone tablets.

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