Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.

Join

Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login

Drug pricing

CMA warns drug companies against using discount schemes to maintain market dominance

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has warned drug companies against using anticompetitive discount schemes, after investigating discounts offered by the company that manufactures Remicade.

The CMA found that there were “no grounds for action” following its investigation into discounts made by Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited (MSD) for Remicade (infliximab), a drug used to treat chronic illnesses such as Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

In May 2017, the CMA said that the scheme, which was introduced in 2015 after the patent for the drug expired, “was in breach of competition law”, but added in a press release on 14 March 2019 that further evidence indicated “that MSD’s scheme was not, in practice, likely to limit competition from others”.

“This is because, at the time that the discount scheme was introduced, the market worked differently from the way MSD had envisaged when it designed the scheme,” the CMA said.

The day after the patent for Remicade expired in 2015, a biosimilar version was launched in the UK.

The CMA said: “If [the discount scheme] had been successful, MSD’s discount scheme could have delayed the NHS from benefitting from increased competition and making significant savings on what it spent on Remicade, which, at the time, was over £100m annually.”

Despite the conclusion, the CMA has said the investigation “serves as a warning to businesses, which design discount schemes to protect their dominant market position, that they risk breaching UK competition law”.

It added that had MSD’s scheme worked to prevent or limit competition, “the company could have faced severe financial penalties”.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2019.20206300

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

  • Drugs of Abuse

    Drugs of Abuse

    A concise, easy-to-read guide for healthcare professionals who encounter drug abuse.

    £38.00Buy now
  • Adverse Drug Reactions

    Adverse Drug Reactions

    A practical guide to the drug reactions that affect particular organ systems, and the management of these reactions.

    £38.00Buy now
  • English Delftware Drug Jars

    English Delftware Drug Jars

    This beautiful book illustrates the art and history of the collection of English delftware drug jars in the Museum of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.

    £54.00Buy now
  • Paediatric Drug Handling

    Paediatric Drug Handling

    Written for new pharmaceutical scientists, this book provides a background in paediatric pharmacy and a comprehensive introduction to children's medication.

    £33.00Buy now
  • Introduction to Renal Therapeutics

    Introduction to Renal Therapeutics

    Introduction to Renal Therapeutics covers all aspects of drug use in renal failure. Shows the role of the pharmacist in patient care for chronic kidney disease.

    £38.00Buy now

Search an extensive range of the world’s most trusted resources

Powered by MedicinesComplete
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Jobs you might like

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.