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Colluding drug firms “cost the NHS millions of pounds” over nausea tablets

Four pharmaceutical firms have been accused of illegally colluding to restrict the supply of an anti-nausea tablet, driving the price paid for it by the NHS up by 700%.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said the cost of Prochlorperazine rose from £6.49 per pack to £51.68, after suppliers agreed not to compete.

The drug is often prescribed to cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

In a statement of objections, the CMA says that between 2013 and 2018, the annual cost of 3mg dissolvable Prochlorperazine tablets increased from approximately £2.7m to £7.5m, even though the NHS dispensed fewer packs during that period.

It claimed that sharp increase was the result of four companies – Alliance, Focus, Lexon and Medreich – agreeing not to compete against each other for the supply of the prescription-only pills.

Read more on BBC.

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