STAT+: U.K. issues record fine to drug makers for price gouging and collusion schemes

After a lengthy investigation, the U.K. antitrust regulator has fined several drug makers a record-setting $370 million for their role in an “egregious” scheme to significantly hike the cost of medicines and delay the sale of lower-cost versions.

At issue was the cost of hydrocortisone tablets, which cost the U.K. government and taxpayers $110 million annually by 2016. up from roughly $700,000 in 2008. During that time, Auden Mckenzie and Actavis UK, which is now known as Accord UK, increased the price by more than 10,000%. For instance, the National Health Service paid $142 for a 20m pack in 2016, up from $1.48 in 2008.

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