U.K. Drugmakers Fined $360 Million for Overcharging NHS 10,000%

A clutch of U.K. drug companies have been fined 260 million pounds ($360 million) for colluding to overcharge the U.K.’s National Health Service by as much as 10,000% for hydrocortisone tablets.

Auden McKenzie and Actavis U.K., now known as Accord U.K. Ltd., bought off potential rivals to stay out of the market to drive up the price of the drug, used to treat adrenal insufficiency, the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority said in a statement on Thursday.

“These are without doubt some of the most serious abuses we have uncovered in recent years,” CMA chief Andrea Coscelli said in the statement. “The actions of these firms cost the NHS – and therefore taxpayers – hundreds of millions of pounds.”

A request for comment left with Accord outside office hours was not immediately returned. Auden McKenzie was bought by the entity then known as Actavis in 2015.

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