Advanz Pharma and partners fined for ‘excessive and unfair price’ of liothyronine 

We welcome the decision by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to fine pharmaceutical company Advanz Pharma and its private equity partners £100 million for inflating the price of liothyronine tablets. 

The firms were found to have taken advantage of the lack of competition in the market and inflated the price of liothyronine. The price increases could not be attributed to investment or innovation nor changes in production costs or sales volumes. This resulted in the price paid by the NHS for the drug sky-rocketing from £4.46 in 2007 to £258.19 in 2017. This price inflation of more than 6,000% made the drug unaffordable to the NHS. From 2015 many doctors were subsequently no longer able to prescribe liothyronine to patients. This resulted in many patients’ liothyronine treatment being withdrawn causing unnecessary suffering, and often expense, for patients. 

We hope this decision will mean the price will now come down in line with other countries where it costs a minimal amount and that patients with a clinical need for this medication will be able to obtain it more easily on the NHS wherever they live in the UK. 

GOV.uk statement  

Date of article: August 2021