An article on the BBC News website on the 6th of August 2015 reported that pharmaceutical firm Pfizer had been accused by the UK's competition watchdog of charging "excessive and unfair" prices for an anti-epilepsy drug. Phenytoin sodium capsules, used by 50,000 people in Britain, were made by Pfizer.
Pfizer said it was co-operating with the Competition and Markets Authority. When Pfizer made the drug under its Epanutin brand name, the NHS had spent about £2.3m on the drug, the CMA said. This amount had soared to £50m in 2013.
The CMA said Pfizer had sold UK distribution rights in 2012, but had continued to make and supply the drug.
"The CMA's findings on dominance and abuse are provisional and no conclusion can be drawn at this stage that there has, in fact, been any breach of competition law. We will carefully consider any representations from Pfizer before deciding whether the law has been infringed.," said the CMA senior director of anti-trust enforcement.
Companies are able to be fined as much as 10% of annual sales for abusing a dominant position in a market, depending on the seriousness of the abuse.
Pfizer was able to supply their own views and evidence before the watchdog made a decision.
"Ensuring a sustainable supply of our products to UK patients is of paramount importance to Pfizer and was at the heart of our decision to divest the product," said Pfizer in a statement. "Pfizer is co-operating fully with the CMA's ongoing investigation."