UK competition watchdog accuses Actavis of raising drug price 12,000%

Actavis could face fines for raising the price of its steroid treatment by more than 12,000 percent, reports Bloomberg.

The Competition and Markets Authority — the U.K.'s competition watchdog — called out the price hike Friday, saying Actavis "broke competition law by charging excessive and unfair prices in the U.K.," according to a statement from the agency.

Actavis allegedly raised the price for a pack of its hydrocortisone tablets from 70 pence per pack in 2008 to 88 pounds ($110) in 2016. The drug is used to treat patients whose adrenal glands do not produce an adequate amount of steroid hormones.

"This is a lifesaving drug relied on by thousands of patients, which the National Health Service has no choice but to continue purchasing," said Andrew Groves, senior responsible officer of CMA. "We allege that the company has taken advantage of this situation and the removal of the drug from price regulation, leaving the NHS — and ultimately the taxpayer — footing the bill for the substantial price rises."

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries acquired Actavis this year from Allergan for $40.5 billion this year. The drugmaker said it will "defend the allegations," according to Bloomberg.

Last week, the CMA fined Pfizer and Flynn Pharma a record-breaking amount for raising the price of their epilepsy drug by almost 2,600 percent.

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