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Former Novartis Executive Sentenced to Probation for Role in Generic Drug Price-Fixing Scheme

 |  May 16, 2024

Hector Kellum, a former senior executive of Novartis unit Sandoz, has been sentenced to one year of probation by a U.S. court. Kellum had previously pleaded guilty to participating in a scheme aimed at fixing prices for generic medicines.

The case, which dates back to 2020, unfolded in Philadelphia federal court, where Kellum admitted to his involvement in manipulating the prices of clobetasol and nystatin triamcinolone cream. Clobetasol is commonly prescribed to treat eczema and psoriasis, while nystatin triamcinolone cream is used as an anti-fungal medication.

According to reports by Reuters, Kellum’s guilty plea also involved an agreement to cooperate with the government’s broader investigation into antitrust violations within the generic drug industry. Prosecutors revealed that one of Kellum’s alleged collaborators in the scheme was Ara Aprahamian, a former sales and marketing executive at Taro Pharmaceutical Industries, who faced charges related to price-fixing and bid-rigging.

Despite the allegations against Aprahamian, prosecutors requested the dismissal of the case last year. Aprahamian had pleaded not guilty to charges, including price-fixing and bid-rigging, in Philadelphia federal court.

Source: Reuters