Aspen Pharmacare eased more than 3percent on the JSE yesterday after the drug maker announced that the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) had confirmed its decision to fine it £2.10million (R45m).   Supplied
Aspen Pharmacare eased more than 3percent on the JSE yesterday after the drug maker announced that the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) had confirmed its decision to fine it £2.10million (R45m). Supplied

Aspen Pharmacare gets fined £2.10m in UK

By Sandile Mchunu Time of article published Jul 10, 2020

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DURBAN - Aspen Pharmacare eased more than 3percent on the JSE yesterday after the drug maker announced that the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) had confirmed its decision to fine it £2.10million (R45m).

The fine emanated from a 2017 investigation for alleged anti-competitive conduct of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU on the supply of fludrocortisone acetate 0.1mg tablets and dexamethasone 2mg tablets in the UK.

Although the CMA dropped the dexamethasone investigation in August last year, it informed Aspen of the possibility of the fine after the group entered into an agreement to acquire a potential competitor with the consequence that the conclusion of the agreement resulted in anti-competitive behaviour.

Aspen also made commitments to pay an ex gratia payment of £8m for the purposes of addressing the competition concerns arising from certain aspects of the investigation by the CMA.

It said it would also dispose of its rights to fludrocortisone in the UK to an independent third party overseen by the CMA and Aspen.

Aspen chief executive Stephen Saad yesterday said: “We are pleased to have finalised this matter with the CMA.”

The group stock declined to R144.45 a share in intratrade from Wednesday's close of R149.22 before closing 3.46percent lower at R144.06 on the JSE yesterday.

Aspen’s share price has been bullish since the beginning of the year, rising nearly 20 percent.

Last month, the stock surged more than 10percent in one day after the World Health Organization welcomed the use of dexamethasone for patients who are critically ill with Covid-19 after studies in the UK confirmed that the drug cut the risk of death among ventilated patients by a third and reduced mortality by a fifth in those receiving oxygen.

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