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Epilepsy Society's CEO writes to Flynn Pharma and Pfizer on NHS's 70th Birthday

With the NHS's 70th birthday celebration on 5 July, Epilepsy Society's CEO, Clare Pelham, wrote to the pharmaceutical companies Flynn Pharma and Pfizer to ask them to give a birthday present to the National Health Service.

Looking up at an NHS building which is beige with a blue cloudy sky

In June 2018, the two companies avoided a £90 million fine from the Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA). The fine was brought against them for the companies' 2,500% price hike of the epilepsy drug phenytoin sodium - the CMA ruled that this price increase was excessive and unfair.

In a letter to each company, Clare has asked that the two companies show they "have a heart as well as a balance sheet" by gifting a percentage of the dodged fine to the NHS. This gift could be given as a gesture to offset the bill sent to taxpayers to cover the "extraordinary price increase" of the anti-epileptic drug.

Around 48,000 people with epilepsy in the UK depend on the drugs supplied by Flynn Pharma and Pfizer to gain seizure control, and a gift from the companies could make a real difference to the quality of the epilepsy services delivered on the NHS. Clare writes in her letter "surely the NHS's 70th anniversary is the time to deliver a birthday present that could make a real difference in helping the NHS to support people with epilepsy."

Clare continued in her letter - "Even if you only gave 10% of the fine - £9 million - that could be life-changing for some patients.  And the full £90 million would show that you really do care."

The case against Flynn Pharma and Pfizer has been remitted back to the CMA by the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) and is awaiting a final decision on whether or not the fines are reinstated. We hope that they consider Clare's plea to show their care for epilepsy patients and make a financial contribution to the NHS on its 70th birthday.


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