Nailed at last; The company which ripped off the NHS by raising the price of a life-saving drug from 70p to £88 a packet.
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Brother and sister Amit and Meeta Patel are a couple of clever tossers.
They ran a drugs company and worked out that they could make millions out of the NHS if they dropped the existing brand name of hydrocortisone and started selling it as generic since NHS rules meant it was no longer subject to a profits cap.
As there was no competition - potential rivals were paid to keep out of the market- they increased the price of the drug from 70p to £88 a packet. That’s a rise of 12,500%.
The drug treats adrenalin insufficiency including life threatening conditions like Addison’s Disease. In 2015 after seven years of trousering a fortune they sold out for £306million.
Then The Times newspaper began investigating and yesterday Auden Mckenzie and another drugs business was fined £221million by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).
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Neither Amit or his sister were named in the CMA report but last year he was banned from holding any management role in a British company for five years after admitting colluding to increase the price the NHS paid for other drugs.
It has also emerged that in 2017 he admitted tax fraud to settle a case with HMRC over fake invoice Auden Mckenzie issued to companies in Dubai.
He has described the tax fraud as “an error of judgment.” Do me a favour.
There has been a change in the law giving the government powers to intervene when it believes drug prices are excessively high. The price of the NHS pays for hydrocortisone is now about £3.
What surprises me is that they have not faced a criminal investigation as well as a top a commercial one. Very puzzling.
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