In a boost for Pfizer (PFE), a U.K. appeals tribunal ruled against an antitrust watchdog that had fined the big drug maker and a small generic company for alleged price gouging in connection with an epilepsy pill. As a result, the case was referred back to the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority for further consideration, although the agency may appeal the decision.
Here’s the back story: In late 2016, the CMA had fined Pfizer and Flynn Pharma a record $113 million for deliberately exploiting their dominant market positions by jacking up the price of the epilepsy drug. In explaining the decision, the agency maintained the companies caused the U.K. National Health Service to unnecessarily pay “excessive” prices. Pfizer’s share of the fine was $106 million. Both companies had appealed.